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Journal Article

Simulation and Optimization of an Aluminum-Intensive Body-on-Frame Vehicle for Improved Fuel Economy and Enhanced Crashworthiness - Front Impacts

Abstract Motivated by a combination of increasing consumer demand for fuel efficient vehicles, more stringent greenhouse gas, and anticipated future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, automotive manufacturers are working to innovate in all areas of vehicle design to improve fuel efficiency. In addition to improving aerodynamics, enhancing internal combustion engines and transmission technologies, and developing alternative fuel vehicles, reducing vehicle weight by using lighter materials and/or higher strength materials has been identified as one of the strategies in future vehicle development. Weight reduction in vehicle components, subsystems and systems not only reduces the energy needed to overcome inertia forces but also triggers additional mass reduction elsewhere and enables mass reduction in full vehicle levels.
Technical Paper

Numerical Investigation of Effects of Frame Trigger Hole Location on Crash Behavior

The front rail plays a very important role in vehicle crash. Trigger holes are commonly used to control frame crush mode due to their simple manufacturing process and flexibility for late changes in the product development phase. Therefore, a study, including CAE and testing, was conducted on a production front rail to understand the effects of trigger hole shape, size and orientation. The trigger hole location in the front rail also affects crash performance. Therefore, the effect of trigger hole location on front rail crash behavior was studied, and understanding these effects is the main objective of this study. A tapered front rail produced from 1.7 mm thick DP600 steel was used for the trigger hole location investigation. Front rails with different trigger spacing and sizes were tested using VIA sled test facility and the crash progress was simulated using a commercial code RADIOSS. The strain rate, welding and forming effects were incorporated in the front rail modeling.
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.