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Journal Article

Modeling of an Advanced Steering Wheel and Column Assembly for Frontal and Side Impact Simulations

This paper presents the final phase of a study to develop the modeling methodology for an advanced steering assembly with a safety-enhanced steering wheel and an adaptive energy absorbing steering column. For passenger cars built before the 1960s, the steering column was designed to control vehicle direction with a simple rigid rod. In severe frontal crashes, this type of design would often be displaced rearward toward the driver due to front-end crush of the vehicle. Consequently, collapsible, detachable, and other energy absorbing steering columns emerged to address this type of kinematics. These safety-enhanced steering columns allow frontal impact energy to be absorbed by collapsing or breaking the steering columns, thus reducing the potential for rearward column movement in severe crashes. Recently, more advanced steering column designs have been developed that can adapt to different crash conditions including crash severity, occupant mass/size, seat position, and seatbelt usage.
Journal Article

Fracture Modeling of AHSS in Component Crush Tests

Advanced High Strength Steels (AHSS) have been implemented in the automotive industry to balance the requirements for vehicle crash safety, emissions, and fuel economy. With lower ductility compared to conventional steels, the fracture behavior of AHSS components has to be considered in vehicle crash simulations to achieve a reliable crashworthiness prediction. Without considering the fracture behavior, component fracture cannot be predicted and subsequently the crash energy absorbed by the fractured component can be over-estimated. In full vehicle simulations, failure to predict component fracture sometimes leads to less predicted intrusion. In this paper, the feasibility of using computer simulations in predicting fracture during crash deformation is studied.
Technical Paper

Approaches to Modeling the Dynamic Interaction for an Automotive Seat and Occupant System

There are a wide variety of approaches to model the automotive seat and occupant interaction. This paper traces the studies conducted for simulating the occupant to seat interaction in frontal and/or rear crash events. Starting with an initial MADYMO model, a MADYMO-LS/DYNA coupled model was developed. Subsequently, a full Finite Element Analysis model using LS/DYNA was studied. The main objective of the studies was to improve the accuracy and efficiency of CAE models for predicting the dummy kinematics and structural deformations at the restraint attachment locations in laboratory tests. The occupant and seat interaction was identified as one of the important factors that needed to be accurately simulated. Quasi-static and dynamic component tests were conducted to obtain the foam properties that were input into the model. Foam specimens and the test setup are discussed. Different material models in LS/DYNA were evaluated for simulating automotive seat foam.
Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Modeling Energy Absorption and Deformation of Multicorner Columns in Lateral Bending

The frame rail has an impact on the crash performance of body-on-frame (BOF) and uni-body vehicles. Recent developments in materials and forming technology have prompted research into improving the energy absorption and deformation mode of the frame rail design. It is worthwhile from a timing and cost standpoint to predict the behavior of the front rail in a crash situation through finite element techniques. This study focuses on improving the correlation of the frame component Finite Element model to physical test data through sensitivity analysis. The first part of the study concentrated on predicting and improving the performance of the front rail in a frontal crash [1]. However, frame rails in an offset crash or side crash undergo a large amount of bending. This paper discusses appropriate modeling and testing procedures for front rails in a bending situation.
Technical Paper

Testing and Modeling of Metallic Multicorner Columns In Axial Crush

The front rail plays an important role in the performance of body-on-frame (BOF) vehicles in frontal crashes. New developments in materials and forming technology have led to the exploration of different configurations to improve crash performance. This paper presents the initial stages of an ongoing study to investigate the effects of the cross section of steel columns on crash performance in automotive applications. Because accurate prediction of the performance of these rails can help reduce the amount of physical crash testing necessary, the focus of this paper is on appropriate testing and modeling procedures for different rail configurations. In the first part of this paper, the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) methodology is presented with respect to correlation with real world tests. The effects of various parameters are described, along with the optimum configuration for model correlation.
Technical Paper

An Investigation of Spot-Welded Steel Connections Using a DOE Approach

This paper presents an investigation into the behavior of spot-welded steel connections based on a DOE approach. This work is a part of spot-weld modeling methodology development work being performed at Ford. Control factors such as material, coating, gage size, and noise factors such as loading direction (angle), and speed are considered in this study. Different levels of each variable are included to cover a wide range of practical applications. The test methodology used to generate the responses for the spot-weld coupons have been discussed in a companion paper [1]. From the force-displacement curves obtained from the test, the responses such as peak force, displacement at peak force, and rupture displacement are identified. These responses are then statistically analyzed to identify the relative importance and effect of the design factors. Finally, response surface models are developed to determine responses across different levels of each variable.
Technical Paper

Finite Element Simulation of the EEVC Offset Deformable Barrier

Statistic shows the majority of real world frontal collisions involve only partial overlap of the vehicle front end. Thus the European Experimental Vehicle Committee (EEVC) has established a safety standard and test procedure utilizing a deformable barrier for offset impacts. The offset deformable barrier (ODB) is designed to represent the characteristics of a vehicle front end. Therefore, it can replace a target vehicle and the offset test can be conducted economically. Many component, sub-assembly and full vehicle system tests have been conducted in Ford using the EEVC ODB. Based on the various tests, the barrier responds differently depending on the front end design and the size of an impacting vehicle. Sometimes the front end of a test vehicle punches through the barrier. Also rupture of aluminum sheets and tearing of honeycomb materials are often observed in post-test barriers.