Modeling Energy Absorption and Deformation of Multicorner Columns in Lateral Bending 2006-01-0123
The frame rail has an impact on the crash performance of body-on-frame (BOF) and uni-body vehicles. Recent developments in materials and forming technology have prompted research into improving the energy absorption and deformation mode of the frame rail design. It is worthwhile from a timing and cost standpoint to predict the behavior of the front rail in a crash situation through finite element techniques. This study focuses on improving the correlation of the frame component Finite Element model to physical test data through sensitivity analysis. The first part of the study concentrated on predicting and improving the performance of the front rail in a frontal crash . However, frame rails in an offset crash or side crash undergo a large amount of bending. This paper discusses appropriate modeling and testing procedures for front rails in a bending situation. To adequately compare the performance of the frame rail in these events, steel columns are tested at different speeds in a bending mode. The first part of the paper presents the Finite Element (FEA) methodology as it relates to real world tests. An optimal configuration for model correlation is proposed while describing the effects of various model parameters. The final part of the paper compares two rail cross sections in lateral bending with respect to energy absorption in an automotive crash event.