Title: Study of an energy dissipative under-ride guard for enhancement of crashworthiness in a car-truck collision

Authors: S. Rakheja, M. Balike, S. V. Hoa

Addresses: CONCAVE Research Centre, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, H3G 1M8 Canada. Center for Composite Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, H3G 1M8, Canada. CONCAVE Research Centre, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, H3G 1M8 Canada

Abstract: The performance potentials of a concept of an energy dissipating under-ride guard are investigated under direct and oblique impacts to enhance the crashworthiness of automobiles involved in collisions with heavy freight vehicles. The under-ride guard is analytically modelled incorporating non-linearities due to asymmetric damping, stiffness, clearance spring and kinematics of linkages, using the principle of conservation of momentum and Lagrangian dynamics. Hardware-in-the-loop tests are performed to evaluate the impact energy dissipated by the damper and to verify the proposed model. The analysis is performed for different angles of impact and coefficients of friction between the automobile bumper and the under-ride guard. The performance benefits of the proposed guard at different impact angles are investigated using performance criteria based upon the magnitude of intrusion of the car mass, peak car mass acceleration, and dissipated energy. A multi-variable design optimisation is performed to minimise the magnitude of intrusion and peak acceleration, and maximise the energy dissipated by the damper. The results of the study show that the severity of a crash involving an automobile and a heavy vehicle can be significantly reduced by the proposed guard by: (1) limiting the magnitude of intrusion; and (2) dissipating the part of the crash energy through the damper.

Keywords: under-ride guards; car-truck collisions; energy dissipation; hardware-in-the-loop testing; modelling; impact analysis; oblique impact; dampers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJVD.1999.001858

International Journal of Vehicle Design, 1999 Vol.22 No.1/2, pp.29-53

Available online: 18 Aug 2003 *

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