25th May 2017 by Richard Yen
For today’s look back at last year’s Altair Enlighten Award entries, we’re going to continue the theme of lightweighting application in commercial vehicles. TATA Motors’s nomination concerned the weight reduction of a truck’s tipper body which is used to carry loads such as sand, gravel, coal, etc while transporting from one place to another. These are hydraulically operated and can be tipped while unloading using front end tipping hydraulic system.
TATA Motors’ approach to reduce weight centered on the use of design optimization techniques to discover the optimal cross section thickness for numerous parts within the structure. Particular attention was given to the material thicknesses of structure which the team at TATA were able to minimize with the use of high-strength steels while conserving important factors such as stiffness, buckling and dent performance.
Unique geometry with appropriate section modulus and positioning played a vital role in improving the stiffness of the tipper body.
The weight savings achieved with this approach were huge for TATA Motors. The tipper body is used on many variants of the vehicle, from 16 Tons to 31 Tons, with weight savings varying from 200kg all the way up to 1000kg!
This nomination demonstrated how significant the weight saving potential can be for commercial vehicles when design optimization technologies are used to minimize the use of modern, lightweight enabling materials such as high-strength steels.