Simplified Side Impact FE Model - SSM 2015-01-1486
Simplified Side Impact Finite Element Model (SSM) merged the complex side crash model parameters used in LS-DYNA4; the same sophisticated software employed by finite element (FE)2 analysts, and the user-friendly custom graphical user interface (GUI)1 to allow users having little to no simulation software knowledge the ability to conduct a full vehicle representative crash simulation. Prior to SSM development a literature search was carried to try and identify similar CAE tools for side impact. We did not find any tool that would cater specifically to side impact. During the testing phase, SSM demonstrated that one model analysis run can be completed in fewer than thirty (30) minutes, a radical efficiency increase because previous procedures require several days of effort from a highly skilled FE2 analyst to set up, execute, and analyze. The GUI1 can be used to easily view an animation of the simulation or plot graphs of the dummy response, compare results from multiple simulations, and generate reports. We also established that SSM provides a valuable analysis tool that can be used by a crash engineer to evaluate and fine tune the vehicle's side crash restraint system using body performance specification during the planning stages of development. The GUI1 allows users to easily modify the performance characteristics of the side impact system that are critical to side crash performance, including, but not limited to, intrusion rate, door liner stiffness, side airbag stiffness, and side airbag time to fire. Prior to the development of SSM the crash safety engineers choices for specification analysis were limited to sled testing or vehicle crash testing, both time consuming and resource intensive activities, or full vehicle simulation which is also time consuming and not so well suited to easy manipulation of structural and restraint system parameters. The use of SSM allows earlier integration of restraint computer-aided engineering (CAE) analysis into the development process for a quick and accurate specification optimization.