An experimental and numerical investigation of the effects of geometry and spot welds on the crashworthiness of vehicle thin-walled structures

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Carl Hanser Verlag

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This paper aims to develop a new crash box with improved crashworthiness at reduced cost and weight as a base design for use in the automotive industry. Firstly, a baseline crash box model as presently used by the automotive industry was comprehensively examined by numerical crash analysis using Ls-Dyna software.. Considering the initial design geometry, forty-five different crash box designs were developed by making changes in the geometry and wall thickness of the thin walled structures. The effects of the changes in wall thickness and geometry in alternative crash box designs on crash performances such as total energy absorption, peak crush force, mean crush force, specific energy absorption and crush force efficiency were investigated. The optimum crash box design obtained numerically was validated experimentally by means of the drop tower impact system. The numerical crash analysis results clearly agree with the experimental test results. In this study, a new crash box design at a lower cost and performing better in crashes compared with the other forty-six designs has been obtained and can be used in the automotive industry as an energy absorber. The results have revealed that crash box geometry, as well as the number and position of the spot welds and sheet-metal thickness have an important effect on crash performance, weight and cost of the crash boxes.


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Crash box, thin-walled structure, spot weld, finite element analysis, crashworthiness


Materials Testing

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