Some ideas on the place and role of structural optimization in combination of a materials selection procedure are presented. A side rocker beam of a DutchEVO car (multidisciplinary design project of a concept car at Delft University of Technology) is considered as a case study. A structural optimization system based on the Multipoint Approximation method (MARS) and MSC.MARC FEA code is employed. The developed technique is used to investigate the possibility to use natural fiber composites for a given structural component instead of some conventional (steel, aluminum alloy) and non-conventional (metallic and synthetic fiber composites) materials.
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