Tools for Occupant Protection Analysis
The design of occupant restraint systems in the automotive industry has shifted from an empirical approach to a computer aided analysis approach for many years now. Various finite element software programs have been applied in crash safety analysis, and multi-body dynamics codes have been successfully used where quick system response times were required. Most new vehicle programs are analyzed by the use of finite element tools that were used for previous program projects. Software that has specific occupant protection features may be coupled with these finite element tools, or new vehicle programs may be developed from scratch by using one tool that does all, i.e. a tool where the multi-body dynamics are integrated into the finite element method. Both these approaches will be elaborated as valid tools for occupant protection analysis. At first, the coupling between the finite element crash program LS-DYNA and the F.E.