Optimising Vehicle Safety with CAE
The Benefits of Improving Safety
- Meeting legislation: legislation exists in most markets to set minimum standards for vehicle impact performance. If products don’t meet the legislative targets they will be prevented from selling or will incur a fine.
- Increasing sales: demand for a product will be increased by improving its safety performance. Most markets now have some form of consumer safety rating similar to EuroNCAP. Vehicle safety is an increasingly important purchasing criteria for consumers. This increased demand can be turned into increased unit sales or margins or a combination of the two.
Challenges to Maintaining or Optimising Vehicle Safety
- Changing performance targets: the vehicle or component will be in a constant state of development to improve one or more of the following: styling, aerodynamics, NVH, durability, vehicle dynamics, weight, cost, size.
- New applications: the chassis and subsystems such as suspension and brakes will be carried over to different sub-segments to increase sales volumes either within or across segments for example hatchback, estate, crossover. These segments could have different legislative requirements.
- New markets: the vehicle may be sold in different geographical markets to increase sales. These may have significantly different safety standards than the home market.
- Changing legislation: safety legislation is constantly evolving as vehicles improve and legislative bodies seek to reach zero fatalities. In addition new technologies particularly in active safety systems get incorporated into the legal and consumer tests.
The Importance of Design Verification using CAE
Whenever a design is changed, for whatever reason, it is essential that the product is tested either physically or virtually to determine whether those changes have had a negative effect on its safety performance. For example a weight reduction exercise could reduce the strength of some structural components which may have a negative impact on the vehicle’s crash performance. This outcome can be minimised through good design based on a solid understanding of safety, structural mechanics, material properties and safety legislation.
As discussed in the Vehicle page CAE simulation allows the engineer to verify relatively quickly and cheaply whether the revised product still meets its safety targets. To read more about the benefits of CAE click here.
When improving safety is the main design objective then CAE simulation can be performed to check any negative consequences on any of the other attributes including weight, durability, thermal, NVH, vehicle dynamics and aerodynamics. For example increasing the strength of longitudinal chassis members to improve frontal impact performance could increase weight and negatively impact handling performance. Again this outcome can be mitigated through good design based on a solid understanding of structural mechanics and material property fundamentals and advanced problem and product specific simulation tools.
The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has performed safety CAE on the major components of the vehicle both individually and as an assembly. See one of our Vehicle Safety Case Studies. Our deep product knowledge and experience enables us to:
- Understand your objectives for the product
- Prepare a model optimised for calculation speed and accuracy
- Apply appropriate boundary conditions
- Perform simulation using world-class procedures and tools
- Make sensible recommendations for design improvements
- Minimise any negative impact on other attributes
To get more information or to request a quote for vehicle Safety CAE please submit an enquiry. For more on why Caepro is the best partner for your outsourced CAE requirements please read our 9 Reasons for Using Caepro article.