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Development of generic multibody road vehicle models for crashworthiness


The crashworthiness analysis of road vehicles requires detailed data of the vehicles that the automotive manufacturers are, generally, unable to release due to commercial or legal restrictions. In the development of passive safety subsystems or substructures, the overall crash response of a vehicle model used to support it, must mimic that of the real vehicle; if this exists, regardless of any particular constructive detail of its structure provided that it is not located in the vicinity of such subsystem. This work proposes a methodology for the development of multibody models of road vehicles, for passive safety analysis, which include all general structural and mechanical features of real vehicles and start by exhibiting impact dynamic responses similar to the top of line vehicles. These vehicle models, designated as generic, do not require the knowledge of most of the particular details of the design of the real vehicle, which the manufacturers are unable to release, but can be adjusted to have crash responses similar to those of the real vehicle. Based on an existing finite element model of a car, which has all constructive features of vehicles of the chosen class, a multibody model is built applying the plastic hinge approach. By using a selected number of crash scenarios, defined in international standards such as the EuroNCAP, selected parameters of the vehicle multibody model are adjusted to ensure a good correlation between its impact responses and those of the finite element model. The crash responses are measured in terms of structural deformations, velocities and accelerations, occupant injury measures and structural energy absorption capabilities. Assuming that the plastic hinge constitutive equations of the multibody model are not exactly known, their parameters are used here as the multibody vehicle model that are adjusted. The methodology proposed is demonstrated by its application to the identification of the vehicle multibody model of a large family car for which the reference vehicle is available as a detailed finite element model.

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Correspondence to Luís Sousa.

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Sousa, L., Veríssimo, P. & Ambrósio, J. Development of generic multibody road vehicle models for crashworthiness. Multibody Syst Dyn 19, 133–158 (2008).

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