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Design Optimization of a Car-Truck Stand

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Capstone Courses

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.400.1 - 25.400.15

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Paper Authors


Raghu Echempati Kettering University

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Raghu Echempati is in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. He has several years of teaching, research, and consulting experience. He is an active member of ASEE, ASME, and SAE. He has more than 100 technical paper publications in journals and conference proceedings of repute. He has chaired several sessions at national and international conferences and delivered numerous invited talks and keynote addresses. He has reviewed several textbooks, journal papers, and conference papers. He is an active member of many conference committees.

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Vipul Laddha Kettering University


Sualp Ozel P.E. Autodesk, Inc.

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Sualp Ozel is a Professional Engineer who spends his time listening to simulation experts’ product needs and designing solutions to advance the use of simulation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Before joining Autodesk as a Product Manager, he worked for RJ Lee Group, Inc., and Algor, Inc.

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James Herzing

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DESIGN OPTIMIZATION OF A CAR-TRUCK STANDAbstractCar-truck stands are used during maintenance operations to support one end of a freight car or acommuter car used in railway industry. The car-truck stand consists of several pieces of steeltubes and other steel members welded together to form a rigid structure. From a safetyperspective, the car-truck stands are to be designed carefully, but at the same time due to theirpossible large volume of production throughout the railway industry, this structure needs to beoptimized from strength and cost perspectives besides other parameters such as long life, etc.Earlier work by the authors consisted of performing design of experiments to study the effect ofchanging the geometry variables of the stand structural members on the overall strength of thestand. Finite element analysis was extensively used on one of the optimized designs to analyzethe member stresses of the rigid frame. A safety factor of 2 based on strength has been assumedin the design. Buckling analysis was also carries out in the studies. A real prototype of one of theoptimized stand has been fabricated and stress components in the critical members weremeasured using strain-gage technique and the results compare with the virtual predictions. Theresults did not compare as expected due to the real welded connections on the prototype beingnot fully modeled in the virtual studies. Also there could be issues with the strain-gagemountings and measurements that lead to the discrepancies in the results. SolidWorks andCosmos CAE tools have been used for the virtual simulations.The purpose of this paper is to redo the virtual experiments for the optimal design of the standusing two other CAE tools, namely, Autodesk Inventor® and HyperWorks Optistrut®.Topological optimization studies will be conducted using the same constraints in these twoprograms and a comparison between all the three programs (Cosmos, Autodesk Inventor andOptistrut) will be made and discussed. Bending and torsional rigidity studies will also beperformed. Further, modal analysis will be performed to understand the vibration behavior of thestand. Finally, studies will also be undertaken to redesign the size of the member cross sectionsthat yield nearly the same stress components as measured by the strain-gages. The redesignedstand will be checked for strength (based on yield criteria) and buckling modes. These studieswill be useful to optimally design car-truck stands used in rail industry that are safe to use andeconomical for possible mass production.

Echempati, R., & Laddha, V., & Ozel, S., & Herzing, J. (2012, June), Design Optimization of a Car-Truck Stand Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas.

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