Using topology optimisation with solidThinking Inspire software for improved casted rail components

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When Alstom, Spain, wanted to improve the design of an existing cast part, the company employed HyperWorks as well as solidThinking Inspire and Evolve in the design and optimisation of casted rail components and parts designed for additive manufacturing. Currently this part is used in Alstom’s Metropolis units in the train bogies to support the anti-roll system. It turned out that the first design of the part seemed much too strong for the occurring workloads, and the finite element (FE) model revealed that the safety factor was also a little too high.

As a first step an analysis with solidThinking Inspire was carried out, providing the same results. To improve the overall design while at the same time optimising material usage, the optimisation options were extended by increasing the design volume of the part, followed by a topology optimisation.