Design and Simulation of a Formula SAE Impact Attenuator

Authors Abstract
The preeminent obligation of the automotive engineers, while designing a car, is to assure the driver’s well-being during any kind of impact by suppressing intrusions into the cockpit or minacious deceleration levels. Technologists and designers are advancing various modern active and passive safety systems to augment vehicle occupants’ safety. To mitigate the research and development expenditure in time and money, it is recommended to utilize computational crash simulations for the early evaluation of safety behavior under vehicle impact tests. Therefore, in this research study, an attempt is made to simulate crashworthiness and design the impact attenuator utilized in Formula SAE (FSAE) vehicles to absorb the kinetic energy of a car during a frontal collision. Closed-cell aluminum foam is selected as its material because of its less density than solid metals and ability to undergo large deformations at almost constant load. CAE software is used to carry out explicit dynamic impact analysis on 12 distinct samples having four different geometries and three relative density combinations to get the best design with maximum energy absorption incoherence to the norms and boundary conditions provided in the FSAE rulebook. It is noticed that the shape of the geometry plays a significant role in determining the results of the impact. Furthermore, 15% relative density worked the best for this application out of the other potential combinations. To conclude the research study, 3 out of the total 12 potential IA designs are finalized, resting on the level of kinetic energy absorption and deceleration provided by them by taking into consideration the mass of all the designs.
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Arora, P., and Venkatachalam, G., "Design and Simulation of a Formula SAE Impact Attenuator," SAE Int. J. Mater. Manf. 15(3):275-300, 2022,
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Apr 7, 2022
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Journal Article