Composite Impact Analysis of Race Cars - Technology Transfer to Passenger Car Development 983092

There are a number of benefits from Ford Motor Company's participation in motorsports. This paper will describe how an engineering team developed a CAE process to assist in the design of a race car to meet impact requirements, with the technology transfer benefit of improved impact performance of composite structures in passenger cars.
In 1997/98, a CAE process was developed and applied in the design and test of Formula One race car composite impact structures. For this particular engineering effort, a Ford proprietary software program, COMP-COLLAPSE, was the primary analysis tool that was utilized to successfully predict impact performance. As a result, COMP-COLLAPSE was used extensively in the design of race car composite impact structures. There were two beneficiaries from this effort:
  • Race Vehicles: Improved vehicle impact performance as well as design improvement in crush efficiency, packaging, weight, and manufacturing.
  • Passenger Vehicles: The development of optimized composite design concepts for energy absorption and reduced design cycles (through the adoption of quick turnaround cycles of the Formula One design process and the application of CAE tools).


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