Connecting rod optimization for weight and cost reduction


An optimization study was performed on a steel forged connecting rod with a consideration for improvement in weight and production cost. Since the weight of the connecting rod has little influence on its total production cost, the cost and the weight were dealt with separately. Reduction in machining operations, achieved by change in material, was a significant factor in manufacturing cost reduction. Weight reduction was achieved by using an iterative procedure. Literature survey suggests cyclic loads comprised of static tensile and compressive loads are often used for design and optimization of connecting rods. However, in this study weight optimization is performed under a cyclic load comprising dynamic tensile load and static compressive load as the two extreme loads. Constraints of fatigue strength, static strength, buckling resistance and manufacturability were also imposed. The fatigue strength was the most significant factor in the optimization of the connecting rod. An estimate of the cost savings is also made. The study results in an optimized connecting rod that is 10% lighter and 25% less expensive, as compared to the existing connecting rod. Copyright © 2005 SAE International.

Publication Title

SAE Technical Papers