A scaling method for modelling the crashworthiness of novel roadside barrier designs

Giuseppina Amato, Fionn O'Brien, Bidisha Ghosh, Ciaran Simms

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper, a novel method for modelling a scaled vehicle–barrier crash test similar to the 20◦ angled barrier test specified in EN 1317 is reported. The intended application is for proof-of-concept evaluation of novel roadside barrier designs, and as a cost-effective precursor to full-scale testing or detailed computational modelling. The method is based on the combination of the conservation of energy law and the equation of motion of a spring mass system representing the impact, and shows, for the first time, the feasibility of applying classical scaling theories to evaluation of roadside barrier design. The scaling method is used to set the initial velocity of the vehicle in the scaled test and to provide scaling factors to convert the measured vehicle accelerations in the scaled test to predicted full-scale accelerations. These values can then be used to calculate the Acceleration Severity Index score of the barrier for a full-scale test. The theoretical validity of the method is demonstrated by comparison to numerical simulations of scaled and full-scale angled barrier impacts using multibody analysis implemented in the crash simulation software MADYMO. Results show a maximum error of 0.3% ascribable to the scaling method.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)93-102
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Crashworthiness
    Issue number1
    Early online date03 Dec 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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