Application of CAE Nonlinear Crash Analysis to Aluminum Automotive Crashworthiness Design 951080

After establishing the performance requirements and initial design assumptions, CAE concept models are used to set targets for major structural components to achieve desirable crash performance. When the designs of these major components become available they are analyzed in detail using nonlinear crash finite element models to evaluate their performance. All these components are assembled together later in a full car model to predict the overall vehicle crash performance. If the analysis shows that the targets are met, the design drawings are released for prototype fabrication. When CAE tools are effectively used, it will reduce product development cycle time and the number of prototypes.
Crash analysis methodology has been validated and applied for steel automotive product development. Recently, aluminum is replacing steel for lighter and more fuel efficient automobiles. In general aluminum has quite different performance from steel, in particular with lower ductility. Therefore, crash analysis tools developed for steel need modifications. Such modifications have been implemented in leading crash analysis codes by different methods. One such code was used to analyze and predict the crash performance of aluminum front end structural components and the results are later verified with static and dynamic tests. This paper presents the process, analyses, test results and significant findings.


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