1991-11-01

Concept Stage Crashworthiness Analysis 912591

Whilst the US and European crashworthiness regulations have affected vehicle engineering throughout the world, the introduction of additional regulations such as side impact in recent years has led to a greater emphasis on computer aided engineering (CAE). The current nonlinear crash analysis computer programs available have not however reduced the analytical skills needed at the concept engineering stage. Indeed, the appropriate use of these analysis codes during the concept stage can significantly increase design efficiency and lead to a reduction in development time.
As legislation becomes more prevalent, designing a vehicle for world markets is becoming an increasingly complex task. Crashworthiness regulations now affect nearly all categories of vehicles sold in US and Europe. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region also have, or are introducing, their own regulations further adding to the complexity of designing “world vehicles”.
The wide range of analysis packages available to assist the engineer develop vehicle crashworthiness currently allow very accurate models to be analysed if adequate design details are available. In recent years it has become apparent that, without detailed data, such packages need to be used carefully at concept stage if the techniques are to streamline the development process. This paper demonstrates the use of “appropriate crash analysis” methods to assist the engineer during the concept stage and notes the changing use of CAE techniques as software and hardware have developed in recent years.

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