Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-1175
2004-03-08

Advances in the Crash Simulation of Vehicle Frontal Crash Structures Made of Braided Composite Materials 2004-01-1175

In the last years, the automotive industry has increasingly focused its research interests on composite materials, due to their improved performance in areas such as high specific energy absorption in crash and mechanical properties as a function of mass, in comparison to traditional metallic materials. Improvements in production processes and their automation allows reduction of manufacturing costs, making composites a feasible new alternative to structural automotive applications.
The use of composite materials in the production of crash absorbers has experienced a considerable growth recently, thanks to the development of new textile technologies such 2D and 2.5D braiding. In addition, the European Union is giving support to research projects in this field, in which most of the European composite production leaders and end-users are involved.
In this paper, new advances in simulation of composite materials under crash loads are applied to the analysis of a car frontal crash structure. Experimental results have been used to calibrate constitutive material models and simulation procedures to obtain more accurate representation of material behaviour under crash loading. These advanced computational techniques are then applied to the crash simulations of components. The front longitudinal beam studied in this paper is analysed for two load cases: frontal and lateral crash. Qualitative results on specific energy absorption, as well as the absolute energy absorbed by the structure, are specially relevant. The results of simulations of the structure in carbon fibre and in glass fibre are presented and compared, focussing on the absolute energy absorbed as well as the specific energy absorption of the structure.

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