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On the Future Use of Finite Element Models in Automotive Regulations
Published May 19, 2004 by Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan in Japan
Event: 2004 JSAE Annual Congress
The regulation of motor vehicles for occupant safety currently requires the use of costly experimental testing that is limited by the constraints of instrumentation and the expense of performing multiple tests. With the advent of more advanced computers and modelling tools, the flexibility and relatively low cost of finite element (FE) models make them a valuable tool for improving the regulation process. An effective finite element model should have the following requirements: a balance of complexity and solution speed, validation of the physical response, and the ability to differentiate injury and noninjury. This paper examines the relevant characteristics of one type of model, a biological FE model intended for use in improving injury prediction in regulations. Examples are also provided to illustrate the design methodology of these types of models. Presented here are head, thorax, and leg FE models that have been developed using this method. All of these models were developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). The head model featured in this paper was developed as part of NHTSA's Simulated Injury Monitor (SIMon) program, under a research and development program to create FE models for potential use in future occupant safety regulations.