Aluminum Vehicle Side Impact Design, Test and CAE 2002-01-0249
Ford designed and built a midsize family sedan for the PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicle). The side impact performance of the aluminum vehicle and the current CAE capability was studied. The vehicle was tested according to the specifications of FMVSS 214. The results show the vehicle meet the federal safety requirements. The impact performances of the front and rear dummies were comparable to those of the steel counterpart.
CAE analysis was conducted to develop the body component design and to predict the structural and dummy responses. The results show that without modeling of the joint (rivet and weld) separation, the accuracy of the CAE crash analysis for this aluminum vehicle was inadequate. When empirical separation criteria were incorporated to model the joint, analysis results correlated with the test. Further development of robust modeling methods for joint separation is needed to improve the prediction of aluminum structure crash responses.