Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Rifi An Enterprise Consultancy Unit

Case Study: Crash worthiness and durability of hybrid structures

Objective: Provision of detailed material data for subsequent finite element analysis (FEA).

Situation

  • Gordon Murray Design (GMD) are developing a new manufacturing procedure to produce car bodies from composite materials.
  • Offers significant investment cost savings over traditional stamped steel.
  • Crash worthiness and durability of the hybrid structures needs to be considered.
  • Detailed material data from coupon tests was required for Finite Element Analysis (FEA).
  • A large number of tests needed completing in a short timescale as input to a Technology Strategy Board (TSB) project.
  • What we did

  • Utilised expertise in high strain rate testing (https://www.southampton.ac.uk/damtol/) and extensive facilities for materials and structures testing.
  • Advised on suitable specimen geometry for Chopped Strand Mat (CSM) and Uni-Directional (UD) composite material and strain gauged specimens.
  • Tensile strain rate testing of composite laminate coupons, up to 200 strains per second.
  • Collected high speed images to confirm failure mechanism and Digital Image Correlation (DIC) was used to provide further information.
  • Tensile fatigue tests of welded and non-welded steel coupons (part of the hybrid structure), up to 10M cycles, to produce an S-N curve.
  • Impact

  • For the composite materials of the effect of strain rate on the failure stress, Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio was quantified, and the failure mechanisms identified.
  • The fatigue tests gave indications of the fatigue limits of the virgin and welded steel material.
  • Provided data from the materials characterisation tests in the timescales required.
  • High speed camera setup for DIC
    High speed camera setup for DIC
    Specimen failure - high speed image
    Specimen failure - high speed image

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

    ×