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Design of Vehicle Structures for

Crash Energy Management


Slide 2 of 80 Contents
Introduction
The final design was the product of a long
evolution guided primarily by testing, supported
by simple linear strength of material methods.
Tools include simple spring-mass models, beam
element models, hybrid models and finite
element models.
In recent years - demand from customers,
regulators, and media to provide safer vehicles.


2
Slide 3 of 80 Contents
Introduction
Current Design Practice - reviews the current modeling and design
processes while identifying shortcomings for early design stages.
Crash/Crush Design Techniques for Front Structures - examines
techniques for analyzing the front-end system and to compute the
performance design objectives of subsystems and components.
Analytical Design Tools - introduces component design methods to
create structural concepts for energy absorption and strength.
Vehicle Front Structure Design for Different Impact Modes -
discusses strategy for designing structures for different frontal
impact modes, including vehicle-to vehicle crashes.

3
Slide 4 of 80 Contents
Current Design Practice
Lumped Mass-Spring Models
Limitations of LMS Models
Comparison Between LMS and FE-Based
crashworthiness Processes

Slide 5 of 80 Contents
Current Design Practice
The Design process relies on calculating the
crash pulse from either Lumped Mass-Spring
(LMS) models or Finite Element (FE) models
Two tasks:
Vehicle body structure and major components
packaged ahead of the front occupants, such as
the power-train.
Designing the occupant environment such as the
dummy, restraints and vehicle interior surfaces.




Slide 6 of 80 Contents
LMS based crash pulse estimation
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents
Slide 7 of 80 Contents
FE Based Crash pulse Estimation
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 8 of 80 Contents
The LMS Model
Vehicle approximated
by a one-dimensional
lumped mass-spring
system.
acceptable for
modeling the basic
crash features.
requires a user with
extensive knowledge
Crush characteristics
from static crush set-
up.







Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 9 of 80 Contents
Test set up
Kamals Lumped mass model
Crush Test setup
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 10 of 80 Contents
Acceleration vs Time
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Simulated acceleration
histories with those obtained
from the test, and it shows a
very good agreement can be
achieved
Slide 11 of 80 Contents
Side Impact LMS Model
<#> of 78
Slide 12 of 80 Contents
LMS Models
Pros:
Quicker turnaround time parametric studies
at earlier design stages
Cons:
One dimensional
Requires prior knowledge of spring
characteristics





Contents Slide 13 of 79
3D models
Initial
After 80 ms
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Results compare
well with full
scale crash tests
Contents Slide 14 of 79
Frame Models and FE Models
To overcome 1D, 3D
simulation in MADYMO
The model also includes
the power train external
surfaces to accurately
capture contact with
the barrier.

3D frame
FE model
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 15 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents
Match in 3D frame
and FE model
response for
FOOTWELL intrusion
Difficult to reproduce
by 1D LMS models
Slide 16 of 80 Contents
Crash/Crush Design Techniques for
Front Structures
Designing for crash is multidisciplinary - very
close interaction of
Biomechanics
Structures
Vehicle Dynamics
Packaging
Engineering analysis
Manufacturing

Slide 17 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Frontal offset Crash 40 kmph
Vehicle to vehicle crash 70 kmph Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 18 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Desired Dummy Performance
Various occupant simulation models are used to study
interactions between dummy, restraint system and the
vehicle
A family of crash pulses or signatures that successfully
meet specific injury criteria are defined. These pulses,
in turn, define objective criteria for vehicle design
Desired crush sequence and mode will need to be
selected and crush zones identified to assure the
structural pulse
Several models are developed in parallel to study

Slide 19 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Stiff cage Structural Concept
Objective is to design a stiff passenger
compartment structure
Structure should have a peak load capacity to
support the energy absorbing members in
front of it, without exhibiting excessive
deformation (intrusion)


Slide 20 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 21 of 80 Contents
Basic Principles of Designing for Crash
Energy Management
Controlled Progressive Crush or Deformation
With Limited Intrusion
Rear, roof, and side impact energy-absorbing
structures deform upon direct impact in a
mixed axial and bending mode
Bending dominant role low energy content
In designs where light weight is desirable, axial
mode will be a more appropriate candidate
for energy absorption


Slide 22 of 80 Contents
Controlled Progressive Crush or
Deformation With Limited Intrusion
(contd)
Primary crush zone - relatively uniform, progressive structural
collapse
Main energy absorbing structure- fore section of the power train
compartment
Secondary crush zone -structural interface between the energy
absorbing and occupant compartment structures
Avoid excessive load concentrations
Design strategy
soft front zone- to reduce the vehicles aggressivity in pedestrian-to-
vehicle and vehicle-to-vehicle collisions
Two stiffer zones - primary and secondary.
Primary main EA structure in the fore section
Secondary structural interface between absorber and compartment
Extends to the dash panel and toe board areas
Contents Slide 23 of 79
Design of structural topology /
architecture
Based on ability to design in the
crush mode for primary crush
zones
Based on simplified 3D models
Once a skeleton is ready design
loads can be estimated
Using Quasi Analytical studies
Sizing of thin shell components using
computer codes. (ex. SECOLLAPSE)
Crush criteria will dictate the
structural design.
NVH criteria and durability can be
easily met if designed for crash.

Model by Mahmood and Paluszny
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 26 of 80 Contents
3-D hybrid modelling of front end
system
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Finite Element
Lumped Mass
3D hybrids and
collapsible beam elements
used
Possible to analyze
asymmetric impacts
The model grows
progressively
The designed structures
/ sub-structures are
readily analyzed in a
system environment
Slide 27 of 80 Contents
Evolving front-end system modelling
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
LMS model LMS + FE model
LMS + FE model ( increased FE)
Complete FE with
minimal LMS
Slide 28 of 80 Contents
Analytical Design Tools
Component Design
Column - axial load in compression
Beam - bending or combined bending and axial
compression
Types of Deformations:
Buckling/collapse of a structural component is called local
when the deformations (buckle/fold) are of local character
and the collapse is confined to an isolated area of the
component
It is global (an example is an Euler-type column buckling)
when the whole component becomes deformed and
subsequently collapses

Slide 29 of 80 Contents
Analytical Design Tools
Two Issues
Collapse Modes for Absorption of the kinetic
energy of the vehicle
Axial
Bending
Crash resistance or strength to sustain the crush
process and/or maintain passenger compartment
integrity


Slide 30 of 80 Contents
Axial / Bending Mode
Axial
Most Effective
Difficult to achieve
Bending
Local hinges are
formed
Structures designed for
axial mode can also fail
in this mode


<#> of 78
Slide 31 of 80 Contents
Axial Collapse Mathematical
Modelling
purely analytical / strictly experimental
approaches
Analytical
Modeling mechanics and kinematics of folding
Assumptions were limiting
Average or mean crush load estimated from the
energy balance
by equating the external work done by the crush load
with energies dissipated in different types of
deformation mechanisms in a folding process
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 32 of 80 Contents
Axial Collapse
P
m
= 38.27 M
o
C
1/3
t
-1/3
where
P
m
is the mean/average crush force
M
o
=
o
t
2
/ 4,the fully plastic moment,

o
, is the average flow stress (
o
= (0.9 to 0.95)
u
),

u
is the ultimate tensile strength of the material,
C = 1/2 (b+d) with b and d being the sides of a
rectangular box column,
t its wall thickness
Contents Slide 33 of 79
Variation of structural effectiveness
Experimental results
q = specific energy (SE)
/ specific ultimate
strength (SUS)
SE = maximum energy /
weight
SUS = US / density
| = material volume /
total volume
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Plot for square and rectangular
thin wall columns
Slide 34 of 80 Contents
Axial Collapse
Experimental:
The expression for mean crush load is
obtained from the expression for specific
energy (E
s
=P
m
/A
o
) and is of the form:
P
m
=
u
A
o
being the density and A
o
the overall area of
the section as defined by its outer
circumference

Slide 35 of 80 Contents
Mahmud and Paluszny
Local buckling at critical loads
Leads to collapse and subsequent folding
For low t/b ratios
Large irregular folds
Crumpling
Global Buckling or
Bending type instability

<#> of 78
Folding pattern of thin-walled box with
very small thickness/width ratio
Contents Slide 36 of 79
Experimental Results
Folding pattern of thin-walled box with
large thickness/width ratios
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
For high t/b ratios
Buckling loads more than
material strength
Stable even with geomtrical /
loading imperfections
Limit for compactness


Similar formulations for
rectangular sections


* 2 0.5
( ) 0.48[ (1 ) / ]
y
t b E o u <
Contents Slide 37 of 79
Axial Collapse
Practical Curve

Theoretical curve
P
max
can be attenuated by
appropriate imperfections
To minimize load transferred to
other structures
Load Vs. Deflection plots for design in axial collapse
Slide 38 of 80 Contents
Methods of folding
Depends on the local
geometry
No of flat plates / flanges
at corners
Designed so as to initiate
appropriate folding
Angle / T / Y folds
Angle
folds
Slide 39 of 80 Contents
Stability of the Axial Collapse (Folding)
Process
All compressively loaded elements can loose stability
Leading to premature buckling
Loss of energy absorption
Presumably after critical collapse length has been reached
Experimental correlations have been developed
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 40 of 80 Contents
Bending Collapse
In most collision scenarios except, for side impact, mixed modes involving
axial compression and bending or sometimes even torsion.
Component failure triggered at the location where compressive stress
reaches critical value, the side or flange of the section to buckle locally,
which initiates formation of a plastic hinge-type mechanism.
The bending moment at the newly-created plastic hinge cannot increase
any more, the moment distribution changes and a further increase of the
external load creates additional hinges, until eventually, the number and
the distribution of hinges is such that they turn the structure into a
kinematically movable, linkage-type collapse mechanism
The overall collapse mechanism is controlled by hinge location and is
dependent on the instantaneous strength (load capacity) distribution,
which is a function of the loading state
Contents Slide 41 of 79
Bending modes
Local buckling initiates a plastic
hinge
When compressive stress reaches a
critical value
Further increase of load causes
more hinges
Overall collapse mechanism is
controlled by hinge locations
Contents Slide 42 of 79
Different Collapse modes
Compressively loaded
flange of a compact section
Flange collapse of non-
compact sections
Web collapse of stiffened or
narrow flange beams


<#>
Slide 43 of 80 Contents
Load-deflection characteristics of a
plastic hinge
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Classic plastic
hinge
Hinge collapse with material separation
Thin walled beams
Taken from Kecmans thesis
Contents Slide 44 of 79
Stiffness of the hinge
Studies have been done to estimate
bending behaviour of hinges
Curve A: Plastic Hinge
Solid sections of very thick
walled beams of ductile
materials
B: Thin walled beams that
buckle locally
Drop off in stiffness depends
on
Section compactness
Stability of axial collapse
Smaller t/d, smaller
cr
/
y

steeper drop off
<#>
Contents Slide 45 of 79
Moment-rotation characteristics of
thin-walled beam
Very little energy
absorbed in that initial
deformation
Most of the collision
energy is converted into
the plastic deformation
energy of the hinge,
which corresponds to
the area under the tail
segment of the M-
curve
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 46 of 79
Bending Collapse
The shape and geometry of
the collapsed mechanism
plays a significant role in
determining the amount of
energy absorbed
on closer examination,
distinct deformation
mechanisms such as
bending about stationary
hinge/yield lines and rolling
along specific yield lines can
still be identified.
Uniaxial bending collapse section and a combined
bending (bending about non-principal axis) of a
rectangular section
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 47 of 80 Contents
Combined Loading
SECOLLAPSE ( software)
The strength of each sub-element of a component
section is related to the total applied stress
When one of the sub-elements reaches its maximum
(crippling) strength, the geometry of the section is
distorted in such a way that the collapse of the sub-
element induces the collapse of the whole component.
Thus, SECOLLAPSE automatically generates a failure
surface appropriate to the component and the loading
case investigated
Verification of analytical models is normally done in
well-controlled laboratory tests.
Slide 48 of 80 Contents
Structural Joints
Structural joints define the end conditions and
constraints for structural load carrying elements
such as beams and columns.
control, to a considerable degree, the stiffness of
the vehicle structural systems
Till recently, joints designed for NVH and
manufacturability
Crash energy requirements are more demanding
The tools most likely to be used in their design
and development rely on non-linear FE plate and
shell analysis, supported with appropriate tests

Contents Slide 49 of 79
Design of Substructures
After designing components it is necessary to check the complete
structure / sub structure
Collapse sequence in a convoluted design
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Structure collapses in stages
Slide 50 of 80 Contents
Analytical Design Tools for Crash
Energy Management
Hybrid Models
Combination of LMS and FE like methods
Complete front end of a vehicle is modeled using multiple types of
elements such as shells, beams, springs and masses.
Uses Explicit FE crash codes for simulation
KRASH (explicit dynamic code developed for aircraft crash simulation) -
Structure is deformable beam element with collapse characteristic from
actual testing.
Quick analysis of different design alternatives
Poor co-relation with experimental tests
The crush characteristics generally non-isotropic
Internal effects alter mode of collapse
extensive exp. & understanding of crash needed by user

Slide 51 of 80 Contents
Analytical Design Tools .
Collapsible Beam Finite Element
Elastic-Plastic Beam With Plastic-Hinge Model
extensively to model the bending collapse of beams, large
rotation angles (deep collapse)
Severe limitations when designing for energy absorption by
axial folding
Earlier S frame in Crush:
limited to a planar frame.
also modeled with rigid beams and rotational springs
elastic-plastic beam with a plastic-hinge at the end is a more
accurate method of modelling



Slide 52 of 80 Contents
Collapsible Beam FE EP Beam with
Plastic Hinge
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Simulation of elastic-plastic hinge in beams using
rotational springs
Slide 53 of 80 Contents
Super-Collapsible Beam Element
capable of handling combined axial loads in the
presence of multi-plane bending
useful in analyzing the crush behavior of front and
rear vehicle structures
rails first fold axially, then deform in bending
VCRUSH - a specialized computer program with
this element formulation
Slide 54 of 80 Contents
Design of Substructures
Super-Collapsible Beam
Automotive components are generally made of thin-walled sheet
metal that can be divided into many sub-elements
A sub-element is a four-node plate or shell supported by the
adjacent sub-element
In the crippling and folding stages, the plane section-remain-plane
assumption is no longer valid because of the large distortion.
For moderate thin-walled sub-elements,
cr
>
y
where
y
is the yield stress.
In this case, yielding occurs earlier than buckling and the second
stage should be yielding stage
Slide 55 of 80 Contents
Design of Substructures
elastic: <
cr
buckled:
cr
<
max
crippling:
max

min
folding:
cor

min
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005

min

max

cor
are the maximum, minimum and
corner crushing stresses
Slide 56 of 80 Contents
Design of Substructures
Thin-Walled Finite Beam Element
Failure mode of the beam element is complicated
Caused due to the crippling of the thin plates
The element stiffness formulation after sub-element buckling is important
Extensive test observations, however, give indications that failure modes
follow certain rules, making the failure mode predictable
The first crippled sub-element buckles inboard and the adjacent ones buckle
outboard.
The fold length of the first crippled sub-element controls the length of the
hinge
Deformation pattern is approximately proportional to the stress pattern at
crippling
Contents Slide 57 of 79
Thin-Walled Finite Beam Element
Possible to predict the shown failure
mode
For each fold, the axial deformation
at section C.G. and the rotation can
be calculated as:
= dl/d2
n

= artg(
n
/d
2
)
where
n
is the fold length at first
crushed node, dl, is the distance from
the C.G. to the neutral axis and d
2
is
the distance from the first crushed
node to the neutral axis.
Failure happens in 4 stages
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 58 of 79
Failure in stages
Bending Crash Mode Axial Crash Mode
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Each cycle represents a fold process
Points 1,2,3,4 can be pre-determined
Energy better predicted than P or M
Slide 59 of 80 Contents
Incorporating Dynamic Effects
In LMS models through a single dynamic
factor
Usually related to a crash rate
Vary with the construction of the vehicle b cause
the collapse modes and inertial effects vary with
vehicle
In FE models through effect of strain rate on
tensile (compressive) properties of materials

<#> of 78
Slide 60 of 80 Contents
Effect of strain rate on steels
Change in strength given by
.
where k
r
is experimental determined and V
1
, V
2

are the strain rates.
Also, strain rate sensitivity exponent is given
by

<#> of 78
2
1
log( )
r
V
k
V
o A =
2 2
1 1
ln( ) / ln( ) m
o c
o c
=
Slide 61 of 80 Contents
Dynamic Effects
Two sources:
The effects of strain-rate on the yield and flow
strengths of the material.
The inertia effects on the internal load distribution
that may affect both the overall and local collapse
modes.
How to incorporate Dynamic Effects in the
models

Slide 62 of 80 Contents
Structural Programming
The buckling-crippling-folding process involves severely large deformation
and the element stiffness formulation should consider this effect.
The resultant stiffness can be derived as:
[K] = [K
e
] + [K
a
] + [K
b
] + [K
g
]
where
[K
e
] is the small deformation stiffness
[K
a
] and [K
b
] are the axial and bending stiffness due to large deformation and
[K
g
] is the bending stiffness due to axial force, usually called geometric
stiffness
*Ka+ and *Kb+ are the functions of displacement y
[Kg] is function of axial force.
Slide 63 of 80 Contents
Vehicle Front Structure Design for
Different Impact Modes
Vehicle Front Structure Design for Different Impact Modes
Vehicle Front Structure Design for Current Standards
FMVSS 208
NCAP Test
IIHS Test
Vehicle-to-Vehicle Frontal Collisions
Preliminary Relationships in Head-on Frontal Collision
Strategies for Designing Front Structures for Head-on Impact
Assessment of Analytical Tools
Slide 64 of 80 Contents
Vehicle Front Structure Design for
Different Impact Modes
The vehicle structure, along with its restraint system, is
designed to provide optimum protection to its occupants
with no regard to occupants safety of the colliding vehicle
Research published in the recent years point out that
severe injuries occur in incompatible vehicle-to vehicle
crashes
Ultimate goal of research in both the U.S. and in Europe is
to develop a test procedure that ensures occupants safety
real-world collisions involving single vehicles striking objects
such as trees, bridge abutments, roadside structures and
buildings
Slide 65 of 80 Contents
Vehicle Front Structure Design for
Current Standards
FMVSS 208
The standard sets performance requirements for
occupant protection in frontal crash, which are
measured using anthropomorphic test devices
(dummies) located in the front seat
Either a passive restraint (air bag) or a
combination of air bag and lap/shoulder belt
system may restrain the dummies
Vehicle is launched to impact a rigid barrier from
30 mph at 90 degrees to the barrier surface

Slide 66 of 80 Contents
Vehicle Front Structure Design for
Current Standards
NCAP
It is identical to FMVSS 208, except for increasing
the impact speed to 35 mph and restraining the
front dummies by lap/shoulder belts in addition
to the passive air bag
Regardless of the vehicle mass, the decelerations
of these vehicles during crash are approximately
the same
Designing vehicles for NCAP testing promotes the
stiffness of the structure to be proportional to
the mass of the vehicle
Slide 67 of 80 Contents
Deceleration of light and heavy
vehicles: NCAP testing
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 68 of 80 Contents
Vehicle Front Structure Design for
Current Standards
IIHS Test
When designing vehicle front structure for offset
impact with deformable barrier, both the light and
heavy vehicles cause bottoming of the barrier material
Test promotes a stiffer front structure for heavy
vehicles

Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 69 of 79
Vehicle-to-Vehicle Frontal Collisions
Only frontal collision are
considered, and only
the case of head-on
impact between two
vehicles
It is still complex
because of different
masses, geometries,
and stiffness.


Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 70 of 80 Contents
Preliminary Relationships in Head-on
Frontal Collision
Conservation of Momentum
if v
1
and m
1
are the velocity and mass of the
heavier vehicle and v
2
& m
2
are the velocity
and mass of the lighter vehicle, and the
velocity after the crash is assumed to be the
same for both vehicles V
f
, then:
V
f
= (m
1
v
1
+ m
2
v
2
) / (m
1
+m
2
)
= m
2
V
c
/ (m
1
+m
2
) = m
1
V
c
/ (m
1
+m
2
)


Contents Slide 71 of 79
Conservation of Momentum


Knowing (V
f
) helps to calculate the change of vehicle
velocity during impact, which is a good indicator of the
severity of impact on each vehicle, from the following:
v
1
= V
f
- v
1
and, v
2
= V
f
- v
2
An expression of the vs ratio in terms of = ( m
1
/ m
2
)
> 1, the mass ratio of the two vehicles:
( v
2
/ v
1
) = (m
1
/(m
2
) =
For the special case where v
2
= - v
1
= v
0
, the expression
for the velocity after impact,


Slide 72 of 80 Contents
Conservation of Momentum
V
f
= [(m
1
- m
2
)/(m
1
+m
2
)] v
0
When m
1
= m
2
, V
f
= 0. But, when m
1
m
2
, i.e. = (
m
1
/ m
2
) > 1 , and defining V
c
as pre-impact closing
velocity between the two vehicles, that is,
V
c
= v
1
- v
2
,
The above equations may be written as follows:
V
f
= * ( - 1 )/( + 1)+ v
0
v
1
= V
c
/( + 1)
v
2
= * ( )/( + 1)+ V
c


Slide 73 of 80 Contents
Delta V2 for mass ratios and closing
velocities
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
The figure shows that
for vehicles designed for
NCAP testing, Vc=70
mph is too severe of a
case to handle,
regardless of the mass
ratios of the vehicles
involved.
However, in theory, a
Vc=50mph is
manageable for up to
approximately = 2.1.
But a Vc= 60 mph, the
critical mass ratio at
which v2 is 35 mph is
1.4
Slide 74 of 80 Contents
Conservation of energy
By applying conservation of energy theorem,
the total energy absorbed by both vehicles
(through deformation) during crash can be
computed from the following equation :
E
def.
= [(m
1
m
2
)/(m
1
+m
2
)] (Vc
2
)
The deformation energy depends on the two
masses and the closing velocity V
c
of the two
colliding vehicles. In terms of () and (m2)
E
def.
= [(m
2
) () / (1+()] (Vc
2
)
Slide 75 of 80 Contents
Conservation of energy
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
When two vehicles are
individually designed to
absorb the energy during
frontal rigid barrier
impact, they are capable
of absorbing the energy of
that crash.
The analysis is valid
regardless of the mass
ratio of the two vehicles.
This finding shows that
the design of compatible
structures is possible, and
over-crush of the light
vehicle can be avoided
Slide 76 of 80 Contents
Distribution of Energy and
Deformation
Formulae give energy absorbed by the two
vehicles, and they do not help in determining the
way that total energy is shared by the individual
vehicle
Many researchers used a linearization technique
to approximate the dynamic crushing
characteristics of the vehicle during rigid barrier
crashes
The linear approach has been found to be very
crude.
Contents Slide 77 of 79
Linear approximation of vehicle
deceleration vs. crush
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 78 of 79
Strategies for Designing Front
Structures for Head-on Impact
Comparison: head-on collision and rigid
wall impact
Linear approximation of crash pulse
unsuitable for simplified analysis
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 79 of 79
Strategies for Designing Front
Structures for Head-on Impact
The Mass Ratio () &
Closing Speed (vc)
Vehicles are designed
for ratio of 1.36 to 1.6
Closing speed is taken
from 60 to 70 mph


Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 80 of 80 Contents
Strategies for Designing Front
Structures for Head-on Impact
Energy and crush distribution targets
Many researchers express the opinion that during head-on
collision, each of the vehicles involved should absorb an
amount of energy that is proportional to its mass
For the heavy vehicle of mass m
1
, E
1
should be
E
1
= m
1
E
def
/ (m
1
+m
2
)
For the light vehicle of mass m2, the energy would be E2
E
2
= m
2
E
def
/ (m
1
+m
2
)

Contents Slide 81 of 79
Assessment of Analytical Tools
The most simplistic model
was the use of two rigid
masses and two linear
springs to model the
complete system impact
Others modeled the
power-train of both
vehicles to capture their
interface and how it
might influence the
behaviour
Mass-spring model of two colliding cars
Schematic model of crush system
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 82 of 79
Assessment of Analytical Tools
Simulation of head-on impact
of two cars had been
conducted with 1-D lumped
spring mass approach as early
as the 1970s.
It proved to be very useful in
understanding fundamental
mechanics of collision and the
factors which influence the
behavior such as closing
speed, mass ratio and
structural stiffness of each
vehicle
Application of 1-D LMS models for head-on
impact simulation
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 83 of 79
Assessment of Analytical Tools
To manage the vehicle-
to-vehicle offset impact
and possibly the
mismatch in geometry
of the colliding vehicles,
the three-dimensional
lumped masses and
springs with MADYMO
have been used
Car-to-car full frontal impact
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Contents Slide 84 of 79
Assessment of Analytical Tools
Another 3D simplified
modeling technique,
implemented advanced
beam elements, has been
used for studying the
factors influencing
compatibility between
vehicles
Beam elements combined
with shell elements and
other rigid body masses,
hybrid modeling
Beam element model of body structure
Figures from Priya Prasad , 2005
Slide 85 of 80 Contents
Conclusions
A test to check occupants safety in vehicle-to-
vehicle collision will inevitably emerge. In fact,
some vehicle manufacturers have already
provided plans to check their designs for this
impact mode in their product development
process.
Current design standards (the rigid barrier and
offset deformable barrier tests) promote not
readily crushable in a head-on collision
Slide 86 of 80 Contents
Conclusions
Several simplified models are used, but the hybrid
technique may be the most promising, since it combines
features that are suitable and easy to apply by engineers. It
also overcomes the oversimplification in 1-D modeling that
may not be correct for vehicle-to-vehicle simulation.
Designing the back-up and compartment structures of a
small light vehicle for approximately 30 gs average force in
a two-level crash pulse would significantly improve its
safety in head-on collision with a heavier full-size vehicle
with closing velocity of 60 mph and mass ratio of 1.33.
Slide 87 of 80 Contents
Reference
VEHICLE CRASHWORTHINESS AND
OCCUPANT PROTECTION edited by Priya
Prasad et al. , 2004, American Iron and Steel
Institute 2000, Town Centre, Southfield,
Michigan 48075