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Technical Paper

Effect of Epoxy-Based Structural Foam on Energy Management: An Experimental & Analytical Investigation

The effect of epoxy-based structural foam on strength, stiffness, and energy absorption of foam filled structural components is investigated and implemented to formulate design guide-lines that can be used in enhancing weight reduction and engineering functions of systems. An experimental approach is first utilized to identify design variables such as foam density, gage, and foam layer thickness, that are needed to enhance the weight/ performance ratio of structural hat-section components. A CAE approach using non-linear, large deformation finite element analysis is used to model the hat-section components. An acceptance level of confidence in the CAE analytical tools is then established based on comparisons of results between the two approaches. Upon that, the CAE analytical tools are deployed in a sensitivity study to quantify the crush/crash characteristics of foam-filled hat-section components with respect to the changes in the afore mentioned design variables.
Technical Paper

Strain Rate Dependent Foam - Constituitive Modeling and Applications

Many foams exhibit significant strain rate dependency in their mechanical responses. To characterize these foams, a strain rate dependent constitutive model is formulated and implemented in an explicit dynamic finite element code developed at FORD. The constitutive model is developed in conjunction with a Lagrangian eight node solid element with twenty four degrees of freedom. The constitutive model has been used to model foams in a number crash analysis problems. Results obtained from the analyses are compared to the experimental data. Evidently, numerical results show excellent agreement with the experimental data.
Technical Paper

Optimization Design of FoamIPillar for Head Impact Protection Using Design of Experiment Approach

This paper presents a method to obtain improved foam/pillar structural designs to help enhance occupant interior impact protection. Energy absorbing foams are used in this study with their thickness and crush strength being selected as primary design variables for optimization. The response surface techniques in the design of experiment are used in the optimization process. Head impact analyses are conducted by a CAE model with explicit, nonlinear, dynamic finite element code LS-DYNA3D. A baseline model is developed and verified by comparing the simulation results with the experimental data. Based on this model, the anticipated effects of stiffness of the pillar structure and the trim on the Head Injury Criterion (HIC) results are also assessed. The optimization approach in this study provides a comprehensive consideration of the factors which affect the HIC value.
Technical Paper

Additional Notes on Finite Element Models of Deformable Featureless Headform

Model characteristics of a finite element deformable featureless headform with one to four layers of solid elements for the headform skin are studied using both the LS-DYNA3D and FCRASH codes. The models use a viscoelastic material law whose constitutive parameters are established through comparisons of drop test simulations at various impact velocities with the test data. Results indicate that the one-layer model has a significant distinct characteristic from the other (2-to-4-layer) models, thus requiring different parametric values. Similar observation is also noticed in simulating drop tests with one and two layers of solid elements for the headform skin using PAM-CRASH. When using the same parametric values for the viscoelastic material, both the LS-DYNA3D and FCRASH simulations yield the same results under identical impact conditions and, thereby, exhibit a “functional equivalency” between these two codes.
Technical Paper

Side Impact Modeling using Quasi-Static Crush Data

This paper describes the development of a three-dimensional lumped-mass structure and dummy model to study barrier-to-car side impacts. The test procedures utilized to develop model input data are also described. The model results are compared to crash test results from a series of six barrier-to-car crash tests. Sensitivity analysis using the validated model show the necessity to account for dynamic structural rate effects when using quasi-statically measured vehicle crush data.
Technical Paper

Mathematical Model of an Airbag for a Three-Dimensional Occupant Simulation

A mathematical model of an airbag restraint system for automobile drivers, including the simulation of the simultaneous collapse of the steering column, has been developed. The model is designed to work in conjunction with a three-dimensional occupant model. It is capable of assessing the relative effects of airbag size, pressure, deployment rate, venting area, contact force, steering column collapse force, and column collapse distance. The results of the model are compared with experimental runs in which anthropometric dummies were used as test subjects. Good correlation was obtained for torso kinematics. The model can be conveniently used for a parametric study to aid the design of airbag restraint systems.
Technical Paper

Development of an FE Model of the Rat Head Subjected to Air Shock Loading

As early as the 1950's, Gurdjian and colleagues (Gurdjian et al., 1955) observed that brain injuries could occur by direct pressure loading without any global head accelerations. This pressure-induced injury mechanism was "forgotten" for some time and is being rekindled due to the many mild traumatic brain injuries attributed to blast overpressure. The aim of the current study was to develop a finite element (FE) model to predict the biomechanical response of rat brain under a shock tube environment. The rat head model, including more than 530,000 hexahedral elements with a typical element size of 100 to 300 microns was developed based on a previous rat brain model for simulating a blunt controlled cortical impact. An FE model, which represents gas flow in a 0.305-m diameter shock tube, was formulated to provide input (incident) blast overpressures to the rat model. It used an Eulerian approach and the predicted pressures were verified with experimental data.
Technical Paper

A Practical Approach for Cross-Functional Vehicle Body Weight Optimization

The goal of optimization in vehicle design is often blurred by the myriads of requirements belonging to attributes that may not be quite related. If solutions are sought by optimizing attribute performance-related objectives separately starting with a common baseline design configuration as in a traditional design environment, it becomes an arduous task to integrate the potentially conflicting solutions into one satisfactory design. It may be thus more desirable to carry out a combined multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO) with vehicle weight as an objective function and cross-functional attribute performance targets as constraints. For the particular case of vehicle body structure design, the initial design is likely to be arrived at taking into account styling, packaging and market-driven requirements.
Technical Paper

A Methodology for Prediction of Periprosthetic Injuries in Occupants with TKR Implants in Vehicle Crashes

Periprosthetic fractures refer to the fractures that occur in the vicinity of the implants of joint replacement arthroplasty. Most of the fractures during an automotive frontal collision involve the long bones of the lower limbs (femur and tibia). Since the prevalence of persons living with lower limb joint prostheses is increasing, periprosthetic fractures that occur during vehicular accidents are likely to become a considerable burden on health care systems. It is estimated that approximately 4.0 million adults in the U.S. currently live with Total Knee Replacement (TKR) implants. Therefore, it is essential to study the injury patterns that occur in the long bone of a lower limb containing a total knee prosthesis. The aim of the present study is to develop an advanced finite element model that simulates the possible fracture patterns that are likely during vehicular accidents involving occupants who have knee joint prostheses in situ.
Technical Paper

On the Development of a New Design Methodology for Vehicle Crashworthiness based on Data Mining Theory

This paper represents the development of a new design methodology based on data mining theory for decision making in vehicle crashworthy components (or parts) development. The new methodology allows exploring the big crash simulation dataset to discover the underlying complicated relationships between vehicle crash responses and design variables at multi-levels, and deriving design rules based on the whole vehicle safety requirements to make decisions towards the component and sub-component level design. The method to be developed will resolve the issue of existing design approaches for vehicle crashworthiness, i.e. limited information exploring capability from big datasets, which may hamper the decision making and lead to a nonoptimal design. A preliminary design case study is presented to demonstrate the performance of the new method. This method will have direct impacts on improving vehicle safety design and can readily be applied to other complex systems.
Technical Paper

Development Of A Practical Multi-disciplinary Design Optimization (MDO) Algorithm For Vehicle Body Design

The present work is concerned with the objective of developing a process for practical multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO). The main goal adopted here is to minimize the weight of a vehicle body structure meeting NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness), durability, and crash safety targets. Initially, for simplicity a square tube is taken for the study. The design variables considered in the study are width, thickness and yield strength of the tube. Using the Response Surface Method (RSM) and the Design Of Experiments (DOE) technique, second order polynomial response surfaces are generated for prediction of the structural performance parameters such as lowest modal frequency, fatigue life, and peak deceleration value. The optimum solution is then obtained by using traditional gradient-based search algorithm functionality “fmincon” in commercial Matlab package.
Technical Paper

Lightweighting of an Automotive Front End Structure Considering Frontal NCAP and Pedestrian Lower Leg Impact Safety Requirements

The present work is concerned with the objective of design optimization of an automotive front end structure meeting both occupant and pedestrian safety requirements. The main goal adopted here is minimizing the mass of the front end structure meeting the safety requirements without sacrificing the performance targets. The front end structure should be sufficiently stiff to protect the occupant by absorbing the impact energy generated during a high speed frontal collision and at the same time it should not induce unduly high impact loads during a low speed pedestrian collision. These two requirements are potentially in conflict with each other; however, there may exist an optimum design solution, in terms of mass of front end structure, that meets both the requirements.
Technical Paper

Development of Numerical Models for Injury Biomechanics Research: A Review of 50 Years of Publications in the Stapp Car Crash Conference

Numerical analyses frequently accompany experimental investigations that study injury biomechanics and improvements in automotive safety. Limited by computational speed, earlier mathematical models tended to simplify the system under study so that a set of differential equations could be written and solved. Advances in computing technology and analysis software have enabled the development of many sophisticated models that have the potential to provide a more comprehensive understanding of human impact response, injury mechanisms, and tolerance. In this article, 50 years of publications on numerical modeling published in the Stapp Car Crash Conference Proceedings and Journal were reviewed. These models were based on: (a) author-developed equations and software, (b) public and commercially available programs to solve rigid body dynamic models (such as MVMA2D, CAL3D or ATB, and MADYMO), and (c) finite element models.
Technical Paper

An Analytical Study on Headform Impact Protection Space for a Rigid Target

This paper examines the theoretical worst case of normal headform impact on an infinitely rigid surface with the help of a dynamic spring-mass model. It is pointed out that the current approach is not an actual representation of any vehicle upper interior but is useful in gaining insight into the headform impact phenomenon and determining how to further enhance design. After considering force-deflection characteristics of a variety of commonly used headform impact protection countermeasures, a mathematical model is set up with spring properties that approximate those of physical countermeasures. Closed-form solutions are derived for various dynamic elasto-plastic phases including elastic unloading and contact. A parametric study is then carried out with HIC(d) as the dependent variable, and spring stiffness, yield force and spring length (representing countermeasure crush space) as the design variables.
Technical Paper

Effect of Polyurethane Foam on the Energy Management of Structural Components

The effect of polyurethane structural foam on strength, stiffness, and energy absorption of foam filled structural components is investigated to formulate design directions that may be used in weight reduction and engineering functions of vehicle systems. An experimental/testing approach is first utilized using Taguchi’s DOE to identify design variables [foam density, gage, and material type], that are needed to determine the weight/performance ratio of structural hat-section components. An analytical CAE approach is then used to analyze the hat-section components using non-linear, large deformation finite element analysis. An accepted level of confidence in the CAE analytical tools is then established based on comparison of results between the two approaches.
Technical Paper

A Dynamic Component Rollover Crash Test System

Full vehicle dynamic crash tests are commonly used in the development of rollover detection sensors, algorithms and occupant protection systems. However, many published studies have utilized component level rollover test fixtures for rollover related occupant kinematics studies and restraint system evaluation and development. A majority of these fixtures attempted to replicate only the rotational motion that occurs during the free flight phase of a typical full vehicle rollover crash test. In this paper, a description of the methods used to design a new dynamic component rollover test device is presented. A brief summary of several existing rollover component test methods is included. The new system described in this paper is capable of replicating the transfer of lateral energy into rotational vehicle motion that is present in many tripped laboratory based rollover crash tests.
Technical Paper

Assessment Tool Development for Rollover CAE Signals Evaluation

An assessment tool was developed for rollover CAE signals evaluation to assess primarily the qualities of CAE generated sensor waveforms. This is a key tool to be used to assess CAE results as to whether they can be used for algorithm calibration and identify areas for further improvement of sensor. Currently, the method is developed using error estimates on mean, peak and standard deviation. More metrics, if necessary, can be added to the assessment tool in the future. This method has been applied to various simulated signals for laboratory-based rollover test modes with rigid-body-based MADYDO models.
Technical Paper

Vehicle Rollover Sensor Test Modeling

A computational model of a mid-size sport utility vehicle was developed using MADYMO. The model includes a detailed description of the suspension system and tire characteristics that incorporated the Delft-Tyre magic formula description. The model was correlated by simulating a vehicle suspension kinematics and compliance test. The correlated model was then used to simulate a J-turn vehicle dynamics test maneuver, a roll and non-roll ditch test, corkscrew ramp and a lateral trip test, the results of which are presented in this paper. The results indicate that MADYMO is able to reasonably predict the vehicle and occupant responses in these types of applications and is potentially suited as a tool to help setup a suite of vehicle configurations and test conditions for rollover sensor testing. A suspension system sensitivity study is presented for the laterally tripped non-roll event.
Technical Paper

Effects of Unloading and Strain Rate on Headform Impact Simulation

The current paper presents improvements of a previous single-degree-of-freedom lumped parameter model with a nonlinear spring that could be used for preliminary design of headform impact safety countermeasures for normal impact with negligible headform rotation. The unloading taking place along the elastic path has been dispensed with and a parabolic unloading path may yield more realistic force-deformation and deceleration-time behaviors when compared with test results. The effects of the modified unloading behavior on HIC(d) are illustrated with examples. Additionally, a new velocity-dependent yield force criterion is adopted for the spring element to represent strain rate sensitive countermeasures. It is observed that inclusion of strain rate effect can either increase or decrease predicted HIC(d) when compared with using only quasi-static yield force.
Technical Paper

Selection of Vehicle Prototypes for Rollover Sensor Calibration Tests using CAE-DOE

CAE has played a key role in development of the rollover safety technology by reducing the required number of prototypes. CAE-led Design Of Experiments (DOE) studies have helped in developing the process to minimize the number of CAE runs and to optimize use of the prototypes. This paper demonstrates the use of CAE/DOE for the design and optimization of rollover vehicle prototypes and also investigates effects of various factors in the selection of vehicle configuration for rollover sensor calibration testing. The process described herein has been successfully applied to vehicle programs. Modeling and analysis guidelines are also presented for CAE engineers to help in optimizing vehicle prototypes at program level.