Abstract

Buses are widely used for public transport in all countries. There are no crash worthiness standards for buses in India. The body makers fabricate the bus body on the truck chassis according to the specifications of the user with little consideration for safety of passengers. This work is an attempt to study the effect of roll-overs on the structure of a typical Indian bus using the Finite Element Method (FEM). Multibody-FEM systems software MADYMO was used with the objective of evaluating the current structure and exploring alternatives. The existing and the modified bus structures were analyzed for vertical falling velocities of 4 m/s, 6 m/s, 8 m/s and 10 m/s and load of 500 kg, 1000 kg, 1500 kg and 2000 kg per “ring” of the bus. The preliminary results show that there is scope for improvement in the existing bus structure. The stiffness of the bus structure can be increased by supporting the ceiling of the bus on pillars. This modification reduces intrusion into the bus but the force on the bus structure increases. To increase the crash worthiness of the bus structure substantially an internal double roof needs to be incorporated. This modification reduces intrusion as well as the force. This project indicates the possibility to improve crash characteristics of vehicles used in India and other Asian countries without expensive rollover tests. The computer simulation techniques used in this project can be integrated with the design process of the vehicles from very beginning.

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