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Finite Element Model Validation of the Hybrid-III Rail Safety (H3-RS) Anthropomorphic Test Device (ATD)

[+] Author Affiliations
Shaun Eshraghi, Kristine Severson, A. Benjamin Perlman

Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, Cambridge, MA

David Hynd

Transport Research Laboratory, Wokingham, UK

Paper No. IMECE2018-87736, pp. V013T05A011; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 13: Design, Reliability, Safety, and Risk
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5218-7
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


The Hybrid-III Rail Safety (H3-RS) anthropomorphic test device (ATD), also known as a crash test dummy, was developed by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), DeltaRail (now Resonate Group Ltd.), and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in the United Kingdom between 2002 and 2005 for passenger rail safety applications [1]. The H3-RS is a modification of the standard Hybrid-III 50th percentile male (H3-50M) ATD with additional features in the chest and abdomen to increase its biofidelity and eight sensors to measure deflection. The H3-RS features bilateral (left and right) deflection sensors in the upper and lower chest and in the upper and lower abdomen; whereas, the standard H3-50M only features a single unilateral (center) deflection sensor in the chest with no deflection sensors located in the abdomen.

Additional H3-RS research was performed by the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) under the direction of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. The Volpe Center contracted with TRL to conduct a series of dynamic pendulum impact tests [2]. The goal of testing the abdomen response of the H3-RS ATD was to develop data to refine an abdomen design that produces biofidelic and repeatable results under various impact conditions with respect to impactor geometry, vertical impact height, and velocity.

In this study, the abdominal response of the H3-RS finite element (FE) model that TRL developed is validated using the results from pendulum impact tests [2]. Results from the pendulum impact tests and corresponding H3-RS FE simulations are compared using the longitudinal relative deflection measurements from the internal sensors in the chest and abdomen as well as the longitudinal accelerometer readings from the impactor. The abdominal response of the H3-RS FE model correlated well with the physical ATD as the impactor geometry, vertical impact height, and velocity were changed. There were limitations with lumbar positioning of the H3-RS FE model as well as the material definition for the relaxation rate of the foam in the abdomen that can be improved in future work.

The main goal of validating the abdominal response of the dummy model is to enable its use in assessing injury potential in dynamic sled testing of crashworthy workstation tables, the results of which are presented in a companion paper [3]. The authors used the model of the H3-RS ATD to study the 8G sled test specified in the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) workstation table safety standard [4]. The 8G sled test is intended to simulate the longitudinal crash accleration in a severe train-to-train collision involving U.S. passenger equipment. Analyses of the dynamic sled test are useful for studying the sensitivity of the sled test to factors such as table height, table force-crush behavior, seat pitch, etc., which help to inform discussions on revisions to the test requirements eventually leading to safer seating environments for passengers.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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