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Simulation of vehicle crash into bridge parapet using Abaqus/Explicit
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Structural Engineering and Bridges.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Safety is an important aspect when designing bridges and roads. One aspect among others to consider is the road restraint systems. The focus of this study was centered to safety barriers which are the vehicle parapets/guardrails. The parapet must meet certain requirements specified in European Standard in order to obtain a CE-marking, indicating the acceptance of use. Full-scale test must be performed for a proposed parapet to evaluate the performance. Often several full-scale tests are performed in order to achieve CE-marking, making it an expensive process.

The primary objective of this master thesis was to investigate if Abaqus/Explicit could be used as the finite element software for simulation of crashes. Secondary objective was to investigate how well a performed full-scale crash could be simulated in Abaqus/Explicit. A full-scale test was conducted and the parapet installation and vehicle used was modeled. Same conditions as in the full-scale were used in the simulation.

The results indicated that it is possible to simulate the full-scale crash using Abaqus/Explicit. However, the behavior of the full-scale test was not completely captured. The maximum dynamic and permanent horizontal deflection of the tabular thrie beam in the full-scale test was 582 mm and 515 mm, corresponding value from the simulation was 703 mm and 643 mm.

The conclusion from the results is that Abaqus/Explicit is a suitable finite element software for simulating crashes. The differences between the full-scale test and the simulations in this master thesis were due to the simplifications and assumptions used when modeling the parapet, bridge deck and the vehicle. The overall global behavior of the full-scale test was not captured, however the simulation results were not far from the full-scale test even though rough simplifications and assumptions were used in the modeling. We believe that with more care to details in modeling, it should be possible to have better convergence between simulation and the full-scale test.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 102 p.
TRITA-BKN-Examensarbete, ISSN 1103-4297 ; 451
Keyword [en]
Parapet, Guardrail, Vehicle crash, Abaqus/Explicit.
National Category
Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-169436OAI: diva2:820978
Subject / course
Structural Design and Bridges
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-13 Last updated: 2015-06-25Bibliographically approved

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