Design optimization of progressively crushing rails

Nate Chase, Ronald C. Averill, and Ranny Sidhu
SAE World Congress and Exhibition, April 2009

To increase robustness of the crush mode and to decrease repair costs after a crash, it is desirable for front and rear rails in an automotive vehicle to crush progressively. In this study, a new strategy is investigated to achieve progressively crushing designs during an automated design optimization study using HEEDS Professional. This strategy employs the definition of crush zones along the length of a rail, and a design optimization problem statement that encourages maximum energy absorption in any particular crush zone to occur prior to any energy absorption in rearward zones. It is demonstrated that high performing designs with progressive crush can be obtained using the proposed approach. 
► Read abstract