Optimal Design of Motorcycle Crash Bar Using CAD and Finite Element Analysis
Commenced in January 2007
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Optimal Design of Motorcycle Crash Bar Using CAD and Finite Element Analysis

Authors: Sharon S. Wu, Yong S. Park


This project aims to study and evaluate the motorcycle crash bar, which is used to reduce injuries caused by side impacts to the motorcycle, and then develop an improved design using the engineering design process theory based on the current benchmark crash bar in order to lower the severity of motorcycle crash injuries. For this purpose, simulations for the crash bar are set up so that it travels at an angle towards a fixed concrete wall and collides at certain velocities. 3D CAD models are first designed in SolidWorks and dynamic crash simulations are then carried out using ANSYS to determine the lowest maximum Von-Mises stress over time and deformations by adjusting the parameters used in manufacturing the crash bar, including the velocity of the crash, material used, geometries with various radius fillets, and different thicknesses for the bar. The results of the simulation are used to determine the optimum parameters for a safer crash bar to withstand higher stress and deformation. Specifically, the von-Mises stress was reduced by at least 75% compared with the benchmark design by choosing aluminum alloy and a true unibar design.

Keywords: Crash bar, crash simulation, engineering design, motorcycle safety.

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