Modeling and Design for Vehicle Pitch and Drop of Body-on-Frame Vehicles 2005-01-0356
Vehicle pitch and drop play an important role for occupant neck and head injury at frontal impact. The excessive vehicle header drop, due to vehicle pitch and drop during crash, induces aggressive interaction between occupant head and sun visor/header that causes serious head and neck injuries. For most of body-on-frame vehicles, vehicle pitch and drop have commonly been observed at frontal impact tests. It is because the vehicle body is pulled downward by frame rails, which bend down during crash. Hence, the challenges of frame design are not only to absorb crash energy but also to manage frame deformation for minimizing vehicle pitch and drop. In this paper, the finite element method is used to analyze frame deformation at full frontal impact. To ensure the quality of CAE model, a full vehicle FEA model is correlated to barrier tests. In addition, a study of CAE modeling affecting vehicle header drop is performed. The effective factors for vehicle header drop, identified as mesh size, material strain rate, body mount modeling, and weight distribution, are discussed. Furthermore, the root cause of vehicle pitch and drop and the design countermeasures for resolving this issue are discussed.