Fundamental Studies on Crashworthiness Design with Uncertainties in the System 2005-01-0613
Previous research  using an advanced multi-domain topology optimization technique has shown a great promise for the crashworthiness design using the new technique. In this paper, we try to answer some fundamental questions regarding the crashworthiness design, which include: 1) what are the fundamental crash mechanisms of a general crash process; 2) how the uncertainties in the system will affect the crash behavior of a structure; and 3) what is the proper approach for the crashworthiness design optimization that will have needed effectiveness and efficiency. In this paper, three different kinds of uncertainties, uncertainties in the structural parameters, the modeling processes, and the loading and boundary conditions, will be considered to assess the effects of the uncertainties in the crash process. The possible crash mechanisms are then studied to provide an understanding for the design problem. A preliminary discussion on a systematic step by step design approach is provided, which employs linear static finite element analyses to improve the efficiency of the design process. This approach will be extended in the next step for more general crashworthiness design problems and with the use of the topology optimization.