Evaluation of coupled finite element/meshfree method for a robust full-scale crashworthiness simulation of railway vehicles
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Journal: Advances in Mechanical Engineering
© The Author(s) 2016. The crashworthiness of a railway vehicle relates to its passive safety performance. Due to mesh distortion and difficulty in controlling the hourglass energy, conventional finite element methods face great challenges in crashworthiness simulation of large-scale complex railway vehicle models. Meshfree methods such as element-free Galerkin method offer an alternative approach to overcome those limitations but have proved time-consuming. In this article, a coupled finite element/meshfree method is proposed to study the crashworthiness of railway vehicles. A representative scenario, in which the leading vehicle of a high-speed train impacts to a rigid wall, is simulated with the coupled finite element/element-free Galerkin method in LS-DYNA. We have compared the conventional finite element method and the coupled finite element/element-free Galerkin method with the simulation results of different levels of discretization. Our work showed that coupled finite element/element-free Galerkin method is a suitable alternative of finite element method to handle the nonlinear deformation in full-size railway vehicle crashworthiness simulation. The coupled method can reduce the hourglass energy in finite element simulation, to produce robust simulation.