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Development of New Structural Optimization Methodology for Vehicle Crashworthiness

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.22 No.2


The automotive industry continues to face the challenge of developing efficient side body structures that help to reduce the risk of injury to occupants in collisions. The B-pillar, Roof, and Side Sill are key structural members that help reduce the risk of injury to the occupants during a side impact crash event. This study used a simulation-based global optimization method to find optimum thickness for the B-pillar, Roof, and Side Sill components considering baseline material specification and vehicle performance in the IIHS SICE (Side Impact Crashworthiness Evaluation) and FMVSS 216 (Roof Crush Resistance) safety tests.
Fifteen design variables were defined by selecting structural members from a unibody vehicle design. The objective of the optimization was to find the most efficient distribution of mass for the structural members that are vital for the occupant safety. Automated simultaneous simulations were conducted using a global optimization method called Self-Adaptive Evolution. This methodology resulted in a 11% increase in occupants survival space (or decrease in occupant compartment intrusion), and 1.7% reduction in total mass compared to the baseline structure. Also this optimization result met the FMVSS 216 roof crush resistance requirement.


(1) Schwefel, Hans-Paul. Numerical Optimization of Computer Models. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1981.
(2) Fonseka, Sanjaya, and Gaetan Van Den Bergh. "Development of a DOE/Optimization CAE Method to Simultaneously Improve Side Impact Occupant Restraint System Performance for Multiple Test Modes." 20th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, Lyon, France, June 18-21, 2007. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/esv/20th/ (Accessed April 20, 2010).
(3) Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC). LS-DYNAR Keyword User's Manual, Version 971. Vol. 1. Livermore, CA: LSTC, 2007.
(4) Noesis Solutions NV, OPTIMUS Documentation

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