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A multi-objective reliability-based optimization of the crashworthiness of a metallic-GFRP impact absorber using hybrid approximations

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In the field of automotive safety, the lightweight design of crash absorbers is an important research topic with a direct effect on the occupant safety levels. The design of these absorbers usually requires an optimization of their crashworthiness, which can include multi-objective and reliability-based optimization techniques. This process is very time-consuming, and in spite of the continuous growing of computational power, the problem needs a reliable solving scheme. The use of surrogate models and parallel computing are suitable alternatives to deal with this issue. However, the strongly non-linear response functions obtained from the finite element simulations need careful treatment. This work contributes with the application of a surrogate-based reliability-based design optimization method to an original design of a crash absorber made of metal and a glass-fiber reinforced polymer which is subjected to a frontal impact. Multi-adaptive regression splines models are employed to emulate the original responses, and three different approaches in the sampling stage of the method are compared. The absorbed energy and the mass of the element are considered as objective functions, while the peak value of the force transmitted to the occupants of the vehicle is the design constraint. A discussion of the employed materials is presented and the proposed approaches are compared. Finally, several Pareto fronts are obtained as a solution to the probabilistic problem. Results show that a combination of aluminum and glass fiber reinforced polymer is optimum for this problem, and some design rules are offered.

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The research leading to these results has received funding from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación) under grant agreement DPI2010-16238 and from the Galician Regional Government (Xunta de Galicia) under the plan GRC2013-056. The authors fully acknowledge the support received. The authors also want to thank Mr. Francisco Javier Bermúdez Cerqueiro for his valuable collaboration.

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Correspondence to M. Cid Montoya.

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Cid Montoya, M., Costas, M., Díaz, J. et al. A multi-objective reliability-based optimization of the crashworthiness of a metallic-GFRP impact absorber using hybrid approximations. Struct Multidisc Optim 52, 827–843 (2015).

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