Simulation of Falling Object Protective Structure Testing of Earth Moving Equipment Cabin
Earthmoving equipment operates in different applications like construction and open cast mining where it operates above ground level and underground mining where it operates below ground level. Falling of objects over the operator cabin is one of the major causes of accidents in these machines. Hence, safety frames called falling object protective structure (FOPS) have been used to protect the operators from fatal injury. These protective structures should absorb energy during falling of heavy objects over operator cabin. FOPS should meet the requirements specified in ISO 3449. This standard demands the full scale destructive testing to assess its compliance which can be expensive and time consuming. Also, it forbids the use of analytical methods alone to evaluate the cabin performance, since there are no proven researches for the inelastic behavior of the structures. However, a nonlinear explicit dynamic technique has been used to simulate FOPS testing using commercial FEA package. The FEA methodology has been improved through several iterations to get a good correlation with the experimental results. In future, this improved FEA approach will be used to finalize the FOPS design prior to full scale destructive testing to minimize the number of prototype and thereby reduce the development time and cost.
KeywordsFalling object protective structure Cabin Finite element analysis Safety
Authors wish to thank the management of Larsen & Toubro Limited for the use of their Front End Loader FOPS Cabin data and granting permission to publish this article. They also thank their colleagues for their assistance in carrying out the experimental work.
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