Development and Validation of High Fidelity Vehicle Crash Simulation Models 2000-01-0627
A program was performed to develop and validate a high fidelity finite element model of a full size car for crashworthiness analysis. This study is part of an overall program to develop a set of crash models for various vehicles that represent the range of vehicle types currently on the road. The resulting set of vehicle models can then be used to study the effect on the overall crash safety of the introduction of future light-weight vehicles or other changes in the current highway vehicle fleet composition.
The representative full size car selected for this program was the Ford Crown Victoria. The model developed required the tear-down and digitization of a vehicle to characterize the geometry and material testing to measure the mechanical properties. The digitized structural component surfaces were then used to generate the finite element model.
An important step in the overall model development is the validation of the model. Vehicle frontal and side impact tests had been performed on the Crown Victoria. Data from these full vehicle crash tests provided a primary set of measurements for validating the crash model. However, complete validation of the model based only on the existing vehicle crash tests is difficult because of the complexity of the crash responses and the limited number of measurements in the tests. Correct simulation of the crash responses requires modeling both the responses of the individual structural components and the interaction of those components to obtain the complete vehicle crash behavior. To assist in the model validation additional component tests were performed. The component tests included bumper and door rigid pole impact tests and a vehicle frame rigid wall impact test. The model validation using both the component tests and full vehicle crash tests is shown to illustrate the approach.