Occupant Safety Design Approaches using Physical Testing and Numerical Simulation. 2001-01-3921
The vehicle design environment from a crashworthiness and safety perspective has become increasingly complex in recent years. New legal requirements imposed by the European Union (EU) and the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have created a design space of great complexity with many parameters that must be balanced to arrive at an overall design that performs adequately in all of these situations. The customer introduces further complexity through the addition of Consumer requirements in many markets that will influence a purchasing decision. In order to design to all of these conditions, an approach of using physical testing solely has problems associated with it. Due to the prohibitive nature of vehicle prototypes and limited availability during Engineering Development, other tools such a Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) have become popular. This paper will discuss the design space and modeling methods for creating an occupant crashworthiness model suitable for studying vehicle structural and restraint system effects. The results of parametric studies showing injury trends for a given vehicle/restraint system combination will be presented.