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Open AccessArticle

Finite Element Validation of an Energy Attenuator for the Design of a Formula Student Car

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Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica, Máquinas y Motores Térmicos y Fluídos, Escola de Enxeñaría Industrial, Campus As Lagoas Marcosende s/n, 36310 Vigo, Spain
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Departamento de Matemática Aplicada I, Universidade de Vigo, ETSI Telecomunicación, Campus As Lagoas Marcosende s/n, 36310 Vigo, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Mathematics 2020, 8(3), 416; https://doi.org/10.3390/math8030416
Received: 20 February 2020 / Revised: 7 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 14 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Numerical Modeling and Analysis)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: impact attenuator; welding; nonlinear FEM; buckling initiator impact attenuator; welding; nonlinear FEM; buckling initiator
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López-Campos, J.A.; Baldonedo, J.; Suárez, S.; Segade, A.; Casarejos, E.; Fernández, J.R. Finite Element Validation of an Energy Attenuator for the Design of a Formula Student Car. Mathematics 2020, 8, 416.

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