Virtual Tests for Facilitating Steering Wheel Development 2005-01-1072
A steering wheel is an indispensable component in an automobile. Although the steering wheel was invented about one hundred years ago and its structure has since become more and more complex with numerous innovations, documented analysis on steering wheel performance is very limited. Today, a steering wheel is not only a wheel that controls where your car goes; it also plays an important role in a vehicle occupant protection system. Therefore, many requirements have to be met before a steering wheel goes into production. With the development of computational mechanics and increasing computer capability, it has become much easier to evaluate the steering wheel performance in a totally different way. Instead of running prototype tests, steering wheel designs can be modeled virtually in various scenarios using finite element analysis, thus facilitating the development cycle. The objective of this paper is to give an overview of the modeling, simulation and challenges faced in the analysis of steering wheels.