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Technical Paper

Automating Instrument Panel Head Impact Simulation

Occupant head impact simulations on automotive instrument panels (IP) are routinely performed as part of an integrated design process during the course of IP development. Based on the requirements (F/CMVSS, ECE), head impact zones on the IP are first established, which are then used to determine the various “hit” locations to be tested/analyzed. Once critical impact locations are identified, CAE simulations performed which is a repetitive process that involves computing impact angles, positioning the rigid head form with an assigned initial velocity and defining suitable contacts within the finite element model. A commercially available CAE process automation tool was used to automate these steps and generate a head impact simulation model. Once the input model is checked for errors by the automated process, it can be submitted to a solver without any user intervention for analysis and report generation.
Technical Paper

A Discussion on Interior Compartment Doors and Latches

Interior compartment doors are required by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 201, to stay closed during physical head impact testing, and when subjected to specific inertia loads. This paper defines interior compartment doors, and shows examples of several different latches designed to keep these doors closed. It also explores the details of the requirements that interior compartment doors and their latches must meet, including differing requirements from automobile manufacturers. It then shows the conventional static method a supplier uses to analyze a latch and door system. And, since static calculations can't always capture the complexities of a dynamic event, this paper also presents a case study of one particular latch and door system showing a way to simulate the forces experienced by a latch. The dynamic simulation is done using Finite Element Analysis and instrumentation of actual hardware in physical tests.