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Technical Paper

Vehicle Pulse Shape Optimization to Improve Occupant Response in Front Impact

This paper presents a new approach to improve occupant response in a front impact event. Instead of designing a vehicle structure for maximum structural efficiency and safety and then engineer a restraint system for the vehicle, this paper proposes to use a systems approach. In this approach, the vehicle structural response during impact (i.e., pulse) and the restraint system are considered together in the optimization process. In this paper, the 35 mph front impact into a rigid barrier with belted occupants, which is the NHTSA NCAP test, will be used to demonstrate the proposed new approach.
Technical Paper

A Study on Vehicle Elastomer Mount Preloading and Impact Response with Test Validation

A variety of elastomer mounts are being used for vehicles as isolators/dampers between body and frame, on the engine cradle, etc. These vehicle flexible mounts, made of mainly rubber materials and housed in a metallic tube, are indispensable components affecting the quality of the vehicle ride, noise and vibration. In the auto industry, the usual practice when designing vehicle flexible mounts is to minimally reflect impact considerations in the mount design features. However, in most high-speed vehicle crash events where the mounts fail, the crash responses, including occupant injury severity, are known to be very different from the responses of non-failure cases. Even in low-speed vehicle impact cases, excessive deformation of the flexible mounts could cause significant variance in the compliance of the vehicle acceleration level to the air-bag firing and timing threshold requirements.
Technical Paper

Light Truck Frame Joint Stiffness Study

Truck frame structural performance of body on frame vehicles is greatly affected by crossmember and joint design. While the structural characteristics of these joints vary widely, there is no known tool currently in use that quickly predicts joint stiffness early in the design cycle. This paper will describe a process used to evaluate the structural stiffness of frame joints based on research of existing procedures and implementation of newly developed methods. Results of five different joint tests selected from current production body-on-frame vehicles will be reported. Correlation between finite element analysis and test results will be shown. Three samples of each joint were tested and the sample variation will be shown. After physical and analytical testing was completed, a Design of Experiments approach was implemented to evaluate the sensitivity of joints with respect to gauge and shape modification.