Validation of Crush Energy Calculation Methods for Use in Accident Reconstructions by Finite Element Analysis
Abstract The crush energy is a key parameter to determine the delta-V in accident reconstructions. Since an accurate car crush profile can be obtained from 3D scanners, this research aims at validating the methods currently used in calculating crush energy from a crush profile. For this validation, a finite element (FE) car model was analyzed using various types of impact conditions to investigate the theory of energy-based accident reconstruction. Two methods exist to calculate the crush energy: the work based on the barrier force and the work based on force calculated by the vehicle acceleration times the vehicle mass. We show that the crush energy calculated from the barrier force was substantially larger than the internal energy calculated from the FE model. Whereas the crush energy calculated from the vehicle acceleration was comparable to the internal energy of the FE model.