• Crashworthiness Characterisation of the Car Front Bumper System Based on FEA Analysis

      Lu, Yiling; Harmanto, Dani; Zhang, Xiyuan (University of Derby, 2020-11-19)
      This thesis investigated different designs and material selections of vehicle front bumper system to improve the vehicle crashworthiness during the low impact speed (impact velocity=15km/h, 9.32mph) via FEA simulations. The primary purpose is to identify the most important parameters directly related to the improvement of crashworthiness using numerical parametric study. It is found the cross-section profile, curvature shape, material of the bumper beam, together with the connection to the crash box have been all identified that directly influence the crashworthiness performance of the front bumper system. The bumper system, including the sub-components such as bumper beam, crash box, and the connection methods were carried all the parameters, including a number of folds, curvature shapes and spot welds were in-built while creating them into the CAD models using Solidworks. The final assembled complete bumper system is then imported into the ANSYS for further geometry checks and adjustment. Solver Autodyn is used to perform the FEA simulation, and numbers of results files were generated. Results files such as force reaction, plastic work, and equivalent stress, normal stress was all exported it into the Excel for parametric analysis and discussions. Cross-section Profile-Out of proposed Single fold (fold 1) and Triple fold(fold 3) bumper beam profiles, Double fold (fold 2) bumper beam profile presented the best results of force reaction on both smoothness and force value, while the plastic work remained almost identical to profile fold 1 and 3 gained. Fold 2 profile is considered as a good performer since this profile regulated the deformation behaviour of the beam resulted in a smooth increasing force reaction curve. Where the force reaction curve on both fold 1 and fold 3 were fluctuated dramatically due to catastrophic structural failure. Material-In between structural steel and aluminium alloy used in the bumper beam, while the structural steel made bumper beam achieved good force reaction and plastic work. Switched to aluminium can achieve similar force reaction trend and rate with Cross-section neglectable amount of plastic work reduced. Particularly the weight of the bumper beam is dropped down to 5.357 kg while maintaining similar crashworthiness performance to the structural steel. Crash box Crash box connection- The bonded connection is considered as an ideal scenario and was xvii Sensitivity: Internal favoured in much other literature due to it simplifies the connection setting in the FEA environment since it automatically considers it as perfect contact. Three alternative connection methods were therefore proposed to simulate the more realistic scenario. It defined as welding connection that is constituted by a number of spot welds at left, right, top and bottom of the crash box. Since the bonded method contains no spot welds, a method of weld L+R was indicated by totally 4 spot welds appeared at both left and right side of the crash box. On top of this, 4 additional spot welds were added to the top and bottom of the crash box. Totally 4 spot welds were added only to both the top and bottom of the crash box to extend the comparison. While both bonded and weld L+R methods suffered from buckling effect to the crash box, particularly concentrated at the left and right side with high equivalent and normal stresses. It is discovered weld full method provided promising results by reducing the buckling effect to both left and right faces of the crash box, and also managed to lower the equivalent stress down to 336.48MPa and normal stress on the connection surface down to 66MPa. Weld T+B also observed similar performance when compared with both bonded and weld L+R methods. While registered with very small amount of equivalent and normal stresses, the buckling effect is significantly reduced. This thesis contributed the knowledge to the improvement of vehicle front bumper system. Particularly to the failure mode of both bumper beam and crash box, and offered the related optimisation.