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Technical Paper

Analysis of a Dolly Rollover with PC-Crash

The current capabilities of PC-Crash for rollover modeling are discussed and suggestions are made for how PC-Crash might be improved for modeling rollovers. ...This paper evaluates the use of PC-Crash simulation software for modeling the dynamics of a dolly rollover crash test. The specific test used for this research utilized a Ford sport utility vehicle and was run in accordance with SAE J2114. ...Next, the test was modeled using PC-Crash. The simulation was optimized to yield a reasonable fit with the actual test dynamics by changing the following parameters in PC-Crash: (1) the friction coefficient associated with each vehicle-to-ground impact; (2) the coefficient of restitution for vehicle-to-ground impacts; (3) the vehicle body stiffness; and (4) the vehicle suspension and damping.
Technical Paper

The Collision and Trajectory Models of PC-CRASH

This paper presents the trajectory and collision models on which PC-CRASH is based. PC-CRASH'S model for predicting the 3D kinematics of a vehicle's pre- and post-impact trajectory, which is based on a discrete- kinetic time forward simulation of vehicle dynamics rather than empirically-derived “spin-out coefficients”, is described. ...PC-CRASH is a windowso-based accident-reconstruction program which combines the simulation of pre-collision, collision, and post-collision dynamics for multiple vehicles in a graphical environment.
Technical Paper

A Comparison Study between PC-Crash Simulation and Instrumented Handling Maneuvers

Lateral acceleration, roll angle, roll rate, and yaw rate vehicle response from PC-Crash were compared to the MSAI sensor data. The authors modeled 26 handling tests. PC-Crash appeared to be a reasonable tool for modeling gross vehicle response. ...This research compares vehicle dynamic simulations in PC-Crash 8.2 to data recorded during instrumented handling tests conducted by Mechanical Systems Analysis Incorporated (MSAI). ...Vehicle weight, center of gravity (c.g) position, suspension stiffness parameters, tire parameters, steering angle, and vehicle speed data provided by MSAI were used as input for the PC-Crash model. Lateral acceleration, roll angle, roll rate, and yaw rate vehicle response from PC-Crash were compared to the MSAI sensor data.
Technical Paper

Validation of the Coupled PC-CRASH - MADYMO Occupant Simulation Model

During recent years the accident simulation program PCCRASH was developed, which allows to simulate the vehicles movement before, during and after the impact. ...Within SAE 1999-01-0444 a new coupling interface of PC-CRASH and the software MADYMO, developed by TNO in the Netherlands was published. During last year's publication only few validation cases, mainly related to rear end impacts could be demonstrated. ...One major emphasis was set on the influence of the crash pulse, which cannot be derived in PC-CRASH. In this way the paper demonstrates the possibilities as well as the limitations of the numerical model.
Technical Paper

Validation of a PC-Crash Multibody Sport Bike Motorcycle Model

PC-Crash is an accident reconstruction program that allows the user to run simulations with multibody objects that collide or interact with 3D vehicle mesh models. ...The current motorcycle models in PC-Crash are limited to generic-type motorcycles. Furthermore, they are only globally scalable such that you cannot adjust length, width, or height independently. ...The testing results were compared to parameters calculated in the PC-Crash program. Results such as Delta-V, yaw rate and overall post impact trajectories of the motorcycle, rider, and movement of the target vehicle were compared.
Technical Paper

An Analytical Review and Extension of Two Decades of Research Related to PC-Crash Simulation Software

PC-Crash is a vehicular accident simulation software that is widely used by the accident reconstruction community. ...The goal of this article is to review the prior literature that has addressed the capabilities of PC-Crash and its accuracy and reliability for various applications (planar collisions, rollovers, and human motion). ...In addition, this article aims to add additional analysis of the capabilities of PC-Crash for simulating planar collisions and rollovers. Simulation analysis of five planar collisions originally reported and analyzed by Bailey [2000] are reexamined.
Journal Article

Reconstructing Vehicle Dynamics from On-Board Event Data

These predictions were generated by directly integrating the VCH data and by using the VCH data as inputs to PC-Crash simulations. The predicted positions and headings were then compared to the actual position and heading data measured using differential GPS synchronized to the VCH data record.
Technical Paper

Field Effectiveness Calculation of Integrated Safety Systems

The vehicle dynamics of all scenarios from the database will be simulated in PC-Crash, an accident-reconstruction software. Since the brake assist is obligatory from 2012 on, the system and its effect on each single accident scenario will be modeled.
Technical Paper

The Measured Rolling Resistance of Vehicles for Accident Reconstruction

Knowledge about vehicle rolling resistance is required to calculate speed loss of accident vehicles during portions of their pre-impact and post-impact trajectory when they are not braking or sliding directly sideways. The accuracy of assumed rolling resistance values is most important in accidents with long post-impact roll out distances. Very little hard data are currently available1 and the accident reconstructionist must usually make estimates of drivetrain losses and normal and damaged tire rolling resistance to determine overall vehicle rolling resistance. In the first part of this study, the rolling resistances of various vehicles with different drive configurations are determined, based on accurate measurements made with a 5th wheel. In the second part, sensitivity analyses are done with PC-Crash2, a computer simulation program, to determine what effect the error in assumed rolling resistance has on speed calculations for various types of post-impact trajectories.
Technical Paper

Measuring and Modeling Suspensions of Passenger Vehicles

Numerical parameters describing suspension stiffness and damping are required for 3D simulation of vehicle trajectories, but may not be available. This paper outlines a simple, portable method of measuring these properties with a coefficient of variation of 5% on stiffness. 24 of 26 vehicles tested were significantly stiffer in roll than pitch, complicating analyses with models that don't include anti-roll. Suspension parameters did not correlate with static wheel load distribution, and damping coefficient did not correlate with natural frequency. Computer simulations of the speed required to initiate rollover in an S-curve were highly sensitive to the suspension parameters used. When pre-impact tire marks and rollover distance were considered, the simulations became almost insensitive to suspension parameters.
Technical Paper

Post-Impact Dynamics for Vehicles with a High Yaw Velocity

Calculating the speed of a yawing and braked vehicle often requires an estimate of the vehicle deceleration. During a steering induced yaw, the rotational velocity of the vehicle will typically be small enough that it will not make up a significant portion of the vehicle’s energy. However, when a yaw is impact induced and the resulting yaw velocity is high, the rotational component of the vehicle’s kinetic energy can be significant relative to the translational component. In such cases, the rotational velocity can have a meaningful effect on the deceleration, since there is additional energy that needs dissipated and since the vehicle tires can travel a substantially different distance than the vehicle center of gravity. In addition to the effects of rotational energy on the deceleration, high yaw velocities can also cause steering angles to develop at the front tires. This too can affect the deceleration since it will influence the slip angles at the front tires.
Technical Paper

Tire Models for Vehicle Dynamic Simulation and Accident Reconstruction

Various vehicle dynamic simulation software programs have been developed for use in reconstructing accidents. Typically these are used to analyze and reconstruct preimpact and postimpact vehicle motion. These simulation programs range from proprietary programs to commercially available packages. While the basic theory behind these simulations is Newton's laws of motion, some component modeling techniques differ from one program to another. This is particularly true of the modeling of tire force mechanics. Since tire forces control the vehicle motion predicted by a simulation, the tire mechanics model is a critical feature in simulation use, performance and accuracy. This is particularly true for accident reconstruction applications where vehicle motions can occur over wide ranging kinematic wheel conditions. Therefore a thorough understanding of the nature of tire forces is a necessary aspect of the proper formulation and use of a vehicle dynamics program.
Technical Paper

Yaw Testing of an Instrumented Vehicle with and without Braking

Two methods for calculating speed from curved tire marks were investigated. The commonly used critical speed formula and a computer simulation program were evaluated based on their ability to reproduce the results of full-scale yaw tests. The effects of vehicle braking and friction coefficient were studied. Twenty-two yaw tests were conducted at speeds between 70 and 120 km/h. For half of the tests, about 30% braking was applied. Using the measured sliding coefficient of friction, both the critical speed formula and the computer simulations under-predicted the actual speed of the vehicle. Using the measured peak coefficient of friction, both methods over-estimated the actual speed. There was less variance in the computer simulation results. Braking tended to increase the speeds calculated by the critical speed formula.
Technical Paper

A Comparison of Moment of Inertia Estimation Techniques for Vehicle Dynamics Simulation

The moments of inertia, in yaw, pitch, and roll, as well as the center of gravity height are necessary to successfully model the 3D dynamic behavior of vehicles before, during and after collision. A number of vehicle parameter estimation techniques have been developed and are currently in use in North America and Europe. Many parameters have been measured by NHTSA and others. The estimation techniques are compared to the available measured values, and recommendations are made for best estimating the parameters when measured values are not available. The sensitivity of 3D vehicle collision dynamics and trajectory simulation to variance in the moment of inertia is demonstrated.
Journal Article

Vehicle and Occupant Responses in a Friction Trip Rollover Test

Objective: A friction rollover test was conducted as part of a rollover sensing project. This study evaluates vehicle and occupant responses in the test. Methods: A flat dolly carried a Saab 9-3 sedan laterally, passenger-side leading to a release point at 42 km/h (26 mph) onto a high-friction surface. The vehicle was equipped with roll, pitch and yaw gyros near the center of gravity. Accelerometers were placed at the vehicle center tunnel, A-pillar near the roof, B-pillar near the sill, suspension sub-frame and wheels. Five off-board and two on-board cameras recorded kinematics. Hybrid III dummies were instrumented for head and chest acceleration and upper neck force and moment. Belt loads were measured. Results: The vehicle release caused the tires and then wheel rims to skid on the high-friction surface. The trip involved roll angular velocities >300 deg/s at 0.5 s and a far-side impact on the driver’s side roof at 0.94 s. The driver was inverted in the far-side, ground impact.
Technical Paper

Factors Influencing Roof-to-Ground Impact Severity: Video Analysis and Analytical Modeling

This paper explores the dynamics of rollover crashes and examines factors that influence the severity of the roof-to-ground impacts that occur during these crashes. The paper first reports analysis of 12 real-world rollover accidents that were captured on video. Roll rate time histories for the vehicles in these accidents are reported and the characteristics of these curves are analyzed. Next, the paper uses analytical modeling to explore the influence that the trip phase characteristics may have on the severity of roof-to-ground impacts that occur during the roll phase. Finally, the principle of impulse and momentum is used to derive an analytical impact model for examining the mechanics of a roof-to-ground impact. This modeling is used to identify the influence of various impact conditions on the severity of a roof-to-ground impact.
Technical Paper

Comparisons of Devices for Measuring Acceleration vs. Time in Braking Tests

The coefficient of friction between a vehicle's tires and the roadway is a key parameter in any accident reconstruction. With the proliferation of vehicle dynamics software, it is often important to have more details regarding the tires interaction with the road than simply the average deceleration rate. Devices which can provide the peak friction as the braking develops, along with the average deceleration during the fully developed sliding phase, are necessary. There are now products widely available to the accident reconstruction market which provides these parameters as well as detailed acceleration vs. time curves. The following products capable of providing these results were tested: Accelerex, Vericom VC3000, and two general purpose accelerometers made by Silicon Designs and Dimension Engineering. Tests were conducted on wet and dry asphalt surfaces using a variety of passenger vehicles and transit buses which confirmed the agreement between these devices.
Technical Paper

Uncertainty in Calculations Using Lambourn's Critical Speed Procedure

Critical Speed Formula (CSF) belongs to the canon of tools used in reconstruction of vehicle accidents. It is used to calculate vehicle speed at the beginning of tire yaw marks and, together with the entire methodology of processing the information contained in the marks into the data, is often referred to as the Critical Speed Method (CSM). Its great practical importance as well as recurring doubts as to the reliability make it one of the best experimentally and theoretically studied methods. Although the CSF applies in fact to a point mass, it is used with reference to a vehicle, i.e., an increasingly complicated multi-body system. Accident reconstruction experts point out the particular usefulness of Lambourn's research concerning the CSM in respect to a passenger car.