A CAE-based study of reduction of crash aggresivity of pickup trucks

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Krishnamurthy, Vikram
Lankarani, Hamid M.

During the past few years, the disparity in the structural design of light trucks and vans (LTVs) and passenger cars and the number of fatalities involved in these vehicles has become a growing concern among automobile manufacturers. In order to characterize the problem of compatibility, the National Highway Transport Safety Authority (NHTSA) has defined an aggresivity metric (AM) as the ratio of driver fatalities in the collision partner to the number of crashes of the subject vehicle. The aggresivity metric did prove that the sport utility vehicle (SUV) and LTV class of vehicles were substantially more aggressive than the rest of the class of vehicles but failed to highlight the main factor(s) responsible for it. Current research has established that the aggresivity of vehicles involved in frontal crashes is mainly affected by geometric interaction, vehicle stiffness, and vehicle mass. The present study describes a methodology to reduce the aggresivity of pickup trucks using a Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) combined with a Design of Experiments (DOE) approach. Computer-aided crash simulations using finite element models of an average pickup truck and a small car using LS-DYNA (an explicit finite element program) and MAthematical DYnamic MOdelling (MADYMO, a multi-body occupant simulation program) are used to study the vehicle structural deformation and the occupant’s injury responses. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
"December 2005."