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Design of the SAFER Emergency Gate Using LS-DYNA

[+] Author Affiliations
Robert W. Bielenberg, John D. Rohde, John D. Reid

University of Nebraska

Paper No. IMECE2005-81078, pp. 345-352; 8 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Engineering/Technology Management
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Engineering and Technology Management Group
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4230-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


In recent years, NASCAR and the Indy Racing League have improved the safety of their racetracks through the installation of the Steel And Foam Energy Reduction barrier (SAFER). The new barrier consists of a high-strength, tubular steel skin that distributes the impact load to energy-absorbing foam cartridges in order to reduce the severity of the impact, extends the impact event, and provides the occupant of the race car additional protection. During installation of the SAFER barrier, the designers realized that certain race tracks were designed with the emergency track exit in the outside of the corner. Because the SAFER barrier needed to be installed in these corners, a gate mechanism had to be designed for the barrier that would provide access to the track while retaining the safety performance of the system. Full-scale crash testing of the first SAFER gate design showed that the gate did not posses sufficient capacity to handle the loads experienced during a worst-case impact scenario. Non-linear finite element analysis was then used to redesign the gate mechanism. The original gate design was simulated using LS-DYNA in order to validate the computational model. Modifications to increase the capacity of the gate mechanism were designed and analyzed until suitable results were obtained through simulation. Finally, the redesigned SAFER gate was successfully full-scale crash tested.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME



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