Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-1168
2004-03-08

Vehicle Mass and Stiffness: Search for a Relationship 2004-01-1168

The effects of vehicle “stiffness” and mass on the occupant response during a crash may be determined by evaluation of accident data. However, “stiffness” and mass may be correlated, making it difficult to separate their effects. In addition, a single-valued “stiffness”, although well defined for linear case, is not well defined for non-linear systems, such as in vehicle crash, making the separation task even more difficult. One approach to addressing the lack of a clear definition of stiffness is to use multiple definitions. Each stiffness definition can then be correlated with mass to look for trends. In this study, such an approach was taken, and the different stiffness definitions were given and their values were obtained from rigid barrier crash test data.
No clear relationship between mass and stiffness appears to exist. All the stiffness measures reviewed show, at best, only a weak correlation with mass. A stiffness analysis among different vehicle types was also carried out. Statistical analyses indicate that the stiffness of different vehicle types and their ranking system depend on the definition of the stiffness.

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