Gish R, Fix R (2018). Finite element analysis to analyze the properties of pole impacts (2018-01-0519). SAE World Congress, Detroit, MI.
The objectives of this study were to use Finite Element (FE) simulations to predict the crush profile resulting from frontal pole impacts and to compare the results of the FE simulations to existing reconstruction methods. A 2001 Ford Taurus FE model created by the National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) was used to simulate four pole impact tests performed by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) involving the same generation of Ford Taurus.
The FE crush profiles show good correlation to the physical tests. The maximum crush was predicted within ±3% for three of the tests and was under predicted by 7% in the fourth test. The same FE model was then used to simulate 22 more pole impacts to study how impact speed and lateral pole offset from the centerline affected maximum crush.
At impact speeds of 32 km/h, the maximum crush did not vary by more than 4 cm for different pole locations ±500 mm from the vehicle centerline. For impact speeds of 48 and 64 km/h, maximum crush increased with increased lateral pole offset. At speeds of 48 to 64 km/h and pole locations between ±272 mm from the vehicle centerline, the CRASH3 method predicted impact speeds within ±5% of the simulated crashes. At speeds of 32 to 64 km/h and pole locations between ±272-mm from the vehicle centerline, the Craig (1996) method predicted impact speeds within ±8% of the simulated crashes.