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Technical Paper

Virtual Tests for Facilitating Steering Wheel Development

A steering wheel is an indispensable component in an automobile. Although the steering wheel was invented about one hundred years ago and its structure has since become more and more complex with numerous innovations, documented analysis on steering wheel performance is very limited. Today, a steering wheel is not only a wheel that controls where your car goes; it also plays an important role in a vehicle occupant protection system. Therefore, many requirements have to be met before a steering wheel goes into production. With the development of computational mechanics and increasing computer capability, it has become much easier to evaluate the steering wheel performance in a totally different way. Instead of running prototype tests, steering wheel designs can be modeled virtually in various scenarios using finite element analysis, thus facilitating the development cycle.
Technical Paper

CAE-Based Side Curtain Airbag Design

Since its invention in early 1990s, the side curtain airbag has become an important part of the occupant restraint system for side impact and rollover protection. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) is often used to help side curtain airbag design. Because of the unique characteristics of side curtain airbag systems, the simulation of side curtain airbag systems faces different challenges in comparison to the simulation of driver and passenger airbag systems. The typical side curtain airbag CAE analysis includes, but is not limited to, cushion volume evaluation, cushion coverage review, cushion shrinkage and tension force review, deployment timing review and seam shape and location review. The commonly used uniform pressure airbag models serve the purpose in most cases.