Loughborough University
Thesis-2014-Kumar.pdf (6.36 MB)

Structual-acoustic properties of automotive panels with shell elements

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posted on 2014-01-13, 10:20 authored by Gaurav Kumar
The automotive industry has witnessed a trend in the recent years of reducing the bulk weight of the vehicle in order to achieve improved ride dynamics and economical fuel consumption. Unfortunately, reducing the bulk weight often compromises the noise, vibra- tion, and harshness (NVH) characteristics of the vehicle. In general, the automotive body panels are made out of thin sheet metals (steel and aluminium) that have a very low bend- ing stiffness. Hence, it becomes important to find countermeasures that will increase the structural stiffness of these thin body panels without affecting their bulk weight. One such countermeasure is to introduce the geometrical indentations on various body panels. The geometrical indentation explained in this thesis is in the shape of elliptical dome, which supports the increase of the structural stiffness whilst keeping the bulk weight constant. The primary reason to choose elliptical domes as the applied geometrical indentation is due to a significant amount of interest shown by Jaguar Land Rover. Moreover, the elliptical domes, because of the nature of its design, can cover a larger surface area with minimal depth, thereby, eliminating the possibility of sharp and pointy indentations. This thesis presents a comprehensive study of the structural-acoustic behaviour of the automotive-type panels with dome-shaped indentations. The ultimate aim of this research is to establish a set of design guidelines in order to produce automotive-type panels with optimised dome-shaped indentations. In order to do so, a new design optimisation strategy is proposed that results in the optimal placement of the required dome-shaped indenta- tions. The optimisation problem addressed in this thesis is unlike a general mathematical problem, and requires specific methodologies for its solution. Therefore, the use of genetic algorithm is observed as the most suitable method in order to tackle this type of design optimisation problem. During the development of the optimisation procedure, the preliminary results show a consistency in the design patterns. This led to the motivation to investigate a few intuitively designed panels, which are inspired by the initial, trial, optimisation results. Therefore, four intuitively designed panels are investigated for their structural-acoustic characteristics. The study of the intuitively designed panels provided essential physical insight into the design optimisation problem, which ultimately defined the guidelines in order to develop the proposed optimisation procedure. This type of optimisation procedure is completely new in the domain of structural-acoustic optimisation. The efficiency of the underlying work lies in the separate investigation of both the structural and the acoustic properties of the panels with various dome-shaped indentations, and then utilising the insights gained in order to develop a specific optimisation algorithm to stream-line the dome-shaped panel design procedure.


Department of Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering, Loughborough University



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


© Gaurav Kumar

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en