Design Optimization of Progressively Crushing Rails

This paper demonstrates a new strategy for achieving progressively crushing designs during an automated design optimization study. Independent crush zones are defined along the length of the rail. The main goal of the optimization is then to encourage maximum energy absorption in a given crush zone to occur prior to any energy absorption in rearward crush zones. In other words, crush should initiate in the tip and progress from zone to adjacent zone toward the rear of the rail. Compared to traditional optimization statements that focus only on total energy, the current approach can produce designs with similar total energy absorption but with a dominant progressive mode.  
Download (PDF, 222 KB)