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Finite element validation of an energy attenuator for the design of a formula student car

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Finite element validation of an energy attenuator for the design of a formula student car

López Campos, José Ángel; González Baldonedo, Jacobo; Suárez, Sofía; Segade Robleda, Abraham; Casarejos Ruiz, Enrique; Fernández García, José Ramón
DATE : 2020-03-14
UNESCO SUBJECT : 3317.02 Automóviles ; 3316.14 Soldaduras ; 12 Matemáticas


Passive safety systems of cars include parts on the structure that, in the event of an impact, can absorb a large amount of the kinetic energy by deforming and crushing in a design-controlled way. One such energy absorber part, located in the front structure of a Formula Student car, was measured under impact in a test bench. The test is modeled within the Finite Element (FE) framework including the weld characteristics and weld failure description. The continuous welding feature is almost always disregarded in parts included in impact test models. In this work, the FE model is fully defined to reproduce the observed results. The test is used for the qualitative and quantitative validation of the crushing model. On the one hand, the acceleration against time curve is reproduced, and on the other hand, the plying shapes and welding failure observed in the test are also correctly described. Finally, a model that includes additional elements of the car structure is also simulated to verify that the energy absorption system is adequate according to the safety regulations.

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