Design Optimization of Progressively Crushing Rails 2009-01-0353
To increase robustness of the crush mode and to decrease repair costs after a crash, it is desirable for front and rear rails in an automotive vehicle to crush progressively. Here, progressive crush refers to a mode of axial crush that initiates near the tip of the rail and then progresses rearward in a controlled fashion. In this study, a new strategy is investigated to achieve progressively crushing designs during an automated design optimization study. This strategy employs the definition of crush zones along the length of a rail, and a design optimization problem statement that encourages maximum energy absorption in any particular crush zone to occur prior to any energy absorption in rearward zones. It is demonstrated that high performing designs with progressive crush can be obtained using the proposed approach.