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Homework Help: Car Crash Simulation

  1. Feb 9, 2007 #1
    Hi.. im trying to create a car crash simulation. what i want to do is to simulate two cars crashing and calculate the damage that was induced on both cars with the given speed, mass etc. part 2 of that simulation is an enhancement on car A. I would put beams on the doors of the cars to lessen the damage that will result in the crash with the same values for speed, mass etc. I know for a fact that Momentum is the physics behind this things. My problem is I don't know how to calculate the damage induced on both cars and the physical effect of the enhancement i made on car A. How will i Mathematicaly put that enhancement on car A. Any Ideas? hope someone can help me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2007 #2


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    Homework Helper

    You have to look into things like stress and strain:

    http://www.omega.com/literature/transactions/volume3/strainfig1.html" [Broken]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strength_of_materials" [Broken]

    and their relationship

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stress-strain_curve" [Broken]

    (which differs for each type of material) - that is how do the material deform under (compression in your case) stress.

    You could then define your own curve for your car and then also define an impulse curve for the collision in order to calculate the stress during the collision.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  4. Feb 9, 2007 #3
    How accurate do you want your calculations to be? There's a reason they test cars by smashing a few into walls! Also, lessening the damage to the car isn't always the goal; the goal is to lessen the damage to the occupants! Thus, through the use of crumple zones, etc., the change in momentum is done over a greater amount of time, reducing the average force experienced by the occupants.
  5. Feb 9, 2007 #4
    Thanks for the reply guys.. I'll look into those websites you gave me andrevdh because honestly, i'm still confused about everything.. i just wanted to know where i should begin and you guys gave me ideas..

    about my calculations, not really accurate but just enough to say that my simulation is valid.

    thanks for the reply guys and i'll post an update of my work (i really hope i can post)
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