ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Crashworthiness of a Jet Dragster

Final Paper
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An analysis on a Larsen Motorsports (LMS) Generation-6 jet dragster chassis has been conducted to
determine the crashworthiness of the frame and to identify problematic areas which need to be addressed
in order to project the driver from injury in the event of a crash. This analysis was conducted in
conjunction with specialized graduate coursework in Automotive Engineering, particularly
Crashworthiness, at the Florida Institute of Technology. The foundation of key concepts, such as crash
mechanics, trauma biomechanics, and computer simulation of high-speed impacts in LS-DYNA, were
introduced in the course and complemented the jet dragster research that built upon these concepts. Static
and dynamic crash analysis has been conducted using ANSYS and LS-DYNA, simulating a variety of
crash scenarios – frontal and angled impacts at varying speeds. Static structural simulations conducted in
ANSYS are used as a baseline to compare the results of the dynamic simulations conducted in LSDYNA.
Reduced complexity of the model affected realistic behavior of the dragster in the dynamic
simulations. Additionally, because the Gen-6 car is brand new and does not have any performance or
crash data, additional sources of crash data for similar high-performance vehicles will need to be
researched in order to validate the simulation results. Recommendations for energy-absorbing foam
locations in the car will then be made and implemented to improve driver safety.


Paige Sanchez    
Mechanical Engineering
Florida Institute of Technology
United States

David Fleming    
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Florida Institute of Technology
United States

Matthew Jensen    
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Florida Institute of Technology
United States


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