Testing and Finite Element Modeling of Hydroform Frames in Crash Applications
Hydroformed components are replacing stamped parts in automotive frames and front end and roof structures to improve the crash performance of vehicles. Due to the increasing application of hydroformed components, a better understanding of the crash behavior of these parts is necessary to improve the correlation between full-vehicle crash tests and FEM analysis. Accurately predicting the performance of hydroformed components will reduce the amount of physical crash testing necessary to develop the new components and new vehicles as well as reduce cycle time. Virgin material properties are commonly used in FEM analysis of hydroformed components, which leads to erroneous prediction of the full-vehicle crash response. Changes in gauge and material properties during the hydroforming process are intuitive and can be reasonably predicted by using forming simulations. The effects of the forming process have been investigated in the FEA models that are created for crash analyses.