Virtual Rollover Testing of Paratransit Bus

Paratransit buses consist of custom passenger compartments mounted by a secondary manufacturer (called a “body builder”) to separate cutaway chassis. They are used in the U.S. as a complementary service for regularly scheduled routes and they are usually prepared to transport disabled passengers in their wheelchairs. Construction methods of these buses and the lack of dedicated to paratransit fleet national crashworthiness standards result in a wide variance of passenger compartment structural strength amongst manufactures – as reported by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). Sponsored by FDOT, an assessment and improvement methodology was developed using joint computational and empirical approach. The current paper presents an implementation of that work. A detailed Finite Element (FE) model of selected paratransit bus was developed and was subsequently used to perform explicit LS-DYNA analyses of the tilt table rollover test. Numerical simulations were supported by extensive experimental tests on selected bus components for validation purposes. A Deformation Index was proposed as a new measure of the overall deformation of the passenger compartment with respect to its residual space. The Deformation Index serves also as an effective tool to assess safety margin and was used for quantitative comparison of the test results. Using introduced methodology sensitivity study on initial conditions and strain rate material parameters was conducted. The proposed program is of interest and has been supported by paratransit bus operators and manufacturers.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 13p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01152096
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-3578
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:49AM