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Computer modelling of a test device for investigating injury causes in vehicle rollovers.

Mongiardini, M, Mattos, G, Grzebieta, R (Peer reviewed)

Crashes - Analysis

ACRS conference 2013

Vehicle rollovers account for a large percentage of the total fatalities in vehicle crashes. The high fatality rate related to vehicle rollovers clearly indicates the extent of the problem. In Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy for the decade 2011-2020, one of the requirements for safer vehicles is the development of a dynamic rollover test protocol. Although the nature of the severe injuries occurring during vehicle rollovers is known, the actual causes are still mostly unknown. In this regard, the Jordan Rollover System (JRS) is a device that could be used to investigate in a testing environment what happens to occupants during a typical vehicle rollover.

This paper describes a modelling effort to simulate vehicle rollover dynamic testing using the JRS. A Finite Element (FE) model that accurately reproduces the geometry and functionality of the JRS testing rig was initially built. The model was then validated against an actual test involving a Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV). The FE model proved to be capable of replicating both the vehicle dynamics and deformation occurring during an actual rollover test with the JRS rig.

The developed FE model will be a valuable tool to investigate different crash scenarios by varying the initial vehicle roll, pitch, yaw angles, and roll rate. In particular, simulations will allow to identify the ability of the rig to replicate crashes under initial conditions derived from real-world rollover crashes, which may be significantly more severe than the test rig has to date been used for.