Semi-Trailer Structural Failure Analysis Using Finite Element Method
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
This project is centred on an ongoing trailer component failure problem at the STEELBRO New Zealand Ltd due to cracks. In this research the problem has been systematically approached using ANSYS finite element analysis software. The approach involves investigation of the problem and structural analysis of the trailer subjected to two types of service conditions. The service conditions are simulated in ANSYS which involved CAD and finite element modelling of the trailer, and then the finite element model is validated experimentally by strain gauges and geometrically by ANSYS element shape checking capability. The finite element model subjected to static structural analysis confirmed the crack locations and indicated the cause of the failure. Further fatigue analysis on one of the loading condition revealed it’s potential to cause failure at the crack locations. Finally, this research concludes with a proposal of revised component design to overcome the failure at the crack locations and recommendations for further analysis on the trailer.