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New Weight-reduction Design of the Fifth Wheel Coupler with a Trailer by Using Topology Optimization and Durability Tests
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 Title & Authors
New Weight-reduction Design of the Fifth Wheel Coupler with a Trailer by Using Topology Optimization and Durability Tests
Kim, Cheol; Lee, Seung-Yoon; Lee, Yong-Choon;
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The fifth wheel coupler is a heavy automotive coupling structure which connects a tractor and a trailer used for heavy-duty trucks widely. It is subjected to various loads simultaneously such as rolling, pitching and yawing loads as well as coupling frictional and impact loadings. Most of existing couplers have been overdesigned and, therefore, it is necessary to reduce the dead weight to increase the fuel efficiency. The topology optimization was applied in order to find conceptual layout designs which could show major load paths and ribs locations, and then the size structural optimization was performed in order to determine the heights and thicknesses of coupler ribs with the predetermined various loading conditions for the development of a new slim coupler with a minimum weight and high enough strength and stiffness. As the results of the topology optimum design, an efficient new coupling structure for truck trailers was designed. The weight of the new fifth wheel coupler was reduced by 4.9 %, compared with the existing one, even though all strength requirements were satisfied. The fatigue test of the new coupler was performed with cyclic vertical loads (+78.4 to +235.2 kN) and horizontal loads (-91.2 to +91.2 kN) simultaneously at 1 Hz and the life of 2,000,000 cycles were achieved without failure.
Topology optimization;5th wheel coupler;Durability test;Stress analysis;Load analysis;
 Cited by
S. I. Song, K. J. Bae, K. H. Lee and G. J. Park, "Lightweight Design for Automotive Door Using Optimizations and Design of Experiments," Transactions of KSAE, Vol.10, No.1, pp.125- 132, 2002.

Y. J. Hwang, S. K. Kang, J. B. Kim, S. S. Lee, C. G. Choi and J. H. Son, "Topology Optimal Design for Lightweight Shape of the Vehicle Mechanical Component," Journal of the Korean Society of Precision Engineering, Vol.20, No.7, pp.177-184, 2003.

Y. C. Kim, J. K. Hong and G. W. Jang, "Lightweight Crane Design by using Topology and Shape Optimization," Transactions of KSME-A, Vol.35, No.7, pp.821-826, 2011.

K. J. Kim, J. H. Lim, J. H. Park, B. I. Choi, J. W. Lee and Y. J. Kim, "Light-weight Design of Automotive AA6061 Rear Sub-frame based on CAE Simulation," Transactions of KSAE, Vol.20, No.3, pp.77-82, 2012.

J. H. Park, K. J. Kim and J. G. Yoon "Lightweight Design of Automotive Spring Link Based on Computer Aided Engineering," Transactions of KSAE, Vol.21, No.5, pp.157-161, 2013.