Years of railroad accident statistics have summarized the four most common crash scenarios in a test standard for rail vehicles. Modern FEM and MBS computer programs allow a high level of detail in the modeling of vehicles. Whereas in the past, rigid bodies (ball, wall) were modeled as crash partners, today they are also realistically considered as deformable and displaceable bodies. By coupling FEM and MBS simulations, identical simulations can now be performed and then validated with the help of measurement technology from the Chair of rail vehicle.
The design and construction of crash-optimized front structures is primarily concerned with ensuring survival space in the event of a head-on collision. Energy absorption elements and energy dissipation structures must direct the impact energy as far as possible into the underbody so that the driver's cab is not compressed. The crash scenarios must be verified by calculation. After detailed simulations of the components, optimal front structures or components can be developed with regard to crash safety.
In a rail vehicle collision, different levels of force are applied to the buffers, coupler and end of the car, depending on the speed and mass of the train. In a crash, the first priority is to protect people, and the second is to minimize damage to the vehicle or car body. Crash elements should therefore fully absorb the impact energy and then be replaced by new ones. The field of rail vehicles offers a wide range of possibilities for the development of crash elements, such as design, simulation and validation.