28th July 2016 by Richard Yen
We’re almost ready to reveal the winner of this year’s Altair Enlighten Award, just a few more days to go until the ceremony during the CAR MBS on Monday. Before that, we’ve got the last two entries for last year’s award to review. First up is the entry which took second place, the Cadillac Alpha architecture.
Topology optimization was used throughout the structure including multi-disciplinary optimization, where loadcases from different attributes (crash, NVH etc) are considered simultaneously. All of these results were interpreted Cadillac’s optimization experts to create a material efficient architecture. In addition to weight savings achieved through material removal from the optimization studies, there was extensive use of structural adhesive on the CTS and ATS structures which allowed the design teams to shave further weight from the structure.
A total of 74 kg was saved from the vehicle leading to some of the lightest weight vehicles in the segment.
The Alpha architecture was a real showcase for the impact that computer aided engineering (CAE) tools and methods can have on weight saving efforts. Although it did not take the top spot last year, it remains an excellent example of an approach to vehicle development that takes weight as a key design driver. Cadillac stated that its team would scrutinize every part for each gram of mass savings as a daily activity for its engineering and design teams, and CAE formed a big part of that activity. I expect that this simulation led approach to weight saving will become much more common feature of future Enlighten Award nominees.
Download a PDF of this nomination – Alpha Architecture