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Thesis work: Rigid Body Modal Analysis of a Vehicle Driveline

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Rigid Body Modal Analysis of a Vehicle Driveline – Excitation Sensitivity vs Modal Energy Characterization

The motion of heavy bodies in a vehicle chassis is a constant challenge in terms of excitations and responses. The suspension of the powerpack, meaning the combination of the engine and gearbox, in particular, is subject to multiple external constraints such as cost, weight, manufacturability and space requirements, on top of which the functional requirements of vibration isolation, durability and stiffness characteristics are added.

Practical experience has shown that the stiffness characteristics can have a large impact on the perceived vibrational robustness and feeling of the vehicle. Correctly designed, it contributes to making the driving experience more direct and more comfortable; conversely a poorly configured powerpack suspension adversely affects the vibrational behaviour, leading to unresponsiveness and jerkiness, thereby decreasing the attractiveness and joy of an otherwise excellent vehicle.

In order to achieve the correct balance between the requirements, it is absolutely necessary to accurately predict the performance of a certain powerpack set-up. The use of multi-body dynamic CAE tools allow for simulation of the vibrational response for a given excitation. Additionally, the modal behaviour can be computed and analysed, yielding the eigenfrequencies and the associated modal energies of the different degrees of freedom.

Currently, the connections between the modal behaviour and the resulting sensitivity for certain excitations are only partly explored and understood, which this proposed thesis work aims to remedy.


1. Theoretically establish the connection between the modal behaviour and the excitation sensitivity.

2. Confirm the theory for the considered mass and inertia ranges, meaning similar to a powerpack in a passenger’s car, by simulation using a simple multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) model, while varying the mass or stiffness parameters.

3. Establish requirements of the modal behaviour such that the transient response behaviour perform as expected.

4. Define and participate in a simple real-world test to demonstrate the results.

The precise content of the tasks will be defined together with the applicant(s), and some of the steps above may be reduced, changed or omitted. The key part is step number 2, i.e. the verification of the hypotheses that are already in place. The software systems that may be used to conduct the work include MSC Adams Car, MATLAB, Maple, Mathematica, Python and Dymola, but is open for discussion.

The work can be conducted at VCC in Torslanda or at the university for one or two students.

Contact person VCC: Anders Hägglund,, 0729 66 91 91

Keywords: Driveability, vehicles, automotive, Volvo Cars, electrical motors, combustion engines, modal analysis, modal energy, driveline model

We want your application at the latest 2019-10-31

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Job requisition ID:  27118

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