Numerical calculations with high predictability for the analysis of deformation and nonlinear energy management of car structures during frontal impact are an essential tool when decisisons are needed regarding the structural design of car bodies in white during the early stages of car development without the existence of prototypes.
Graphics-aided preprocessing allows the modelling of three-dimensional car structures with about 10,000 finite elements.
The numerical calculations are based on the physics of crash metal-forming. The entire analysis is divided into about 40,000 simulated time steps. Supercomputers have to be used so as to enable a single crash simulation to be run overnight, whereas scalar computers would need many days.
The results of crash simulation are postprocessed by way of coloured computer graphics which make it possible to assess the deformation of the car structure and to take special engineering results into account.
In future Crash simulation will make it possible to optimize design with a view to even safer passenger compartments in cars.