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Shell Elements Performance in Crashworthiness Analysis

[+] Author Affiliations
Shen Rong Wu, Nripen Saha, Ping Chen

Ford Motor Company

Paper No. IMECE2004-61535, pp. 43-51; 9 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Transportation: Transportation and Environment
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Transportation
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4722-5 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Crashworthiness analysis, a type of large deformation transient dynamics, has been an important and active area of researches and engineering applications. Several shell elements have been implemented in the finite element software for crashworthiness analysis. Among them, the 4-node quadrilateral Belytschko-Tsay element, using lower order integration technique is most commonly employed, due to its efficiency, robustness and overall accuracy. However, the lower order integration brings in some uncertainty. This paper is to conduct an engineering evaluation on performance of various shell elements, including Belytschko-Tsay, Belytschko-Leviathan (QPH), Bathe-Dvorkin, discrete Kirchhoff triangular elements, available in the commercial explicit finite element software. The study uses several linear and nonlinear benchmark examples and high-speed impact examples, to investigate the performance of these elements. Results of engineering interest and efficiency of computation are reported. Also, the behavior of finite element convergence, observed from the results by a sequence of refined meshes is investigated.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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