Load path U* analysis in passenger car body structures and load transfer balance in structural components

Yasuyuki Kumazawa, Satoru Kuwahara, Masaki Omiya, Kumhiro Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors investigate the overall structural balance of stiffness from the viewpoint of load transfer and load paths. The concept of load transfer balance is examined and graphically expressed using U*. Index U* is a new concept introduced by the authors to express load transfer in structures. The load transfer balance is calculated for an automotive body structure under conditions of vertical loading on the front suspension. The load transfer balance of a body affects the drivability of an automobile. Through the use of figures showing the U* distribution along load transfer paths, the balance of load transfer is clearly expressed. From these figures, it is shown that frontal load is mainly transferred to the lower structure rather than to the upper structure in the vehicle body used in this study. Diagrams and histograms for U*sum, which is the summation of two kinds of U*s, are presented in this study to show the load transfer balance more precisely. These figures show that the transition of load transfer balance to the lower structure is caused by the stiffened support effect near the rear supporting points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1462-1472
Number of pages11
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, A Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part A
Issue number794
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Automobile
  • Controllability
  • Finite Element Method
  • Load Path
  • Load Transfer
  • Stiffness
  • Structural Analysis
  • Structural Design
  • Vehicle Body

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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