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News

BMW stays ahead of Car Safety Requirements

ESI Group : 11 October, 2004  (New Product)
At BMW, thousands of highly complex simulations have to be performed every year to test the overall crashworthiness of vehicles. Beyond the requirements of current regulations, BMW has selected ESI Group's H-Model, a digital model of the human body, to get a better understanding of possible human injuries in side impact scenarios. In partnership with the Munich Institute for Forensic Medicine, BMW has been able to investigate, for complex impact configurations, the differences between a mechanical physical dummy and the human body simulated by the H-Model.
At BMW, thousands of highly complex simulations have to be performed every year to test the overall crashworthiness of vehicles. Beyond the requirements of current regulations, BMW has selected ESI Group's H-Model, a digital model of the human body, to get a better understanding of possible human injuries in side impact scenarios. In partnership with the Munich Institute for Forensic Medicine, BMW has been able to investigate, for complex impact configurations, the differences between a mechanical physical dummy and the human body simulated by the H-Model.

Current safety regulations require mechanical dummies for all full-scale crash tests whether they use physical or virtual prototypes. Providing valuable insight into crash dynamics and occupant kinematics, digital simulation with dummy models is commonly used for safety features design. But as dummies have to fulfill the requirements of technical measuring devices, like durability and repeatability, they do not enable designers to understand injury mechanisms.

Developed by ESI Group and Integrated Professional System International, a software company, with major automakers and research centers in the automotive industry, the H-Model contains a deformable skeleton with thoracic and abdominal organs, flesh, skin, muscles and ligaments. Based on deformable finite element parts, this model provides a deep insight into human body behavior in real-life situations.

The EuroNCAP lateral barrier test, with airbag, was simulated using a PAM-CRASH model of the vehicle. A first simulation with the FAT Eurosid dummy model enabled to evaluate loads, accelerations and injury indices. The H-model replaced then the mechanical dummy. The behaviors of the dummy model and of the H-Model were similar. Comparison of lower rib deflections, vertebrae and pelvis accelerations, showed similar results for both models. Slight differences were found for the upper ribs and the spine. The H-Model gave valuable, additional information about possible injury mechanisms, which could not be depicted by the dummy model.

Similar results were obtained for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lateral crash test. Considering the complexity of the human body and of real crash simulations, BMW is now planning to focus on the further validation of the H-Model, using well documented injuries from real-world accidents.
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