Updating Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Verification and Validation (V&V) Procedures and Reporting

Crash simulations using finite element analysis (FEA) are used to design and help evaluate the safety performance of roadside safety hardware and features. Roadside safety crash simulations involve developing finite element models of vehicles and roadside appurtenances and using these models to simulate the vehicles impacts with the appurtenances. The criteria for assessing accuracy between simulation results and physical crash test data were based on the repeatability of 10 full-scale crash tests performed by five different testing agencies involving oblique impacts of a small car into a rigid vertical-faced barrier. These thresholds may not be applicable to other impact events involving greater barrier deformations, different barrier types (e.g., steel post and post), shorter duration events (e.g., impact with a sign support), or component tests. While these procedures have unified simulation comparisons for the past several years, there is a need to update the verification and validation (V&V) procedures to current testing standards, for a larger array of impacts, and to update and improve the Roadside Safety Simulation Validation Program (RSSVP) software. Additionally, the simulation reporting format should be standardized beyond the V&V process to allow transportation agencies to review simulation results more easily. The objective of this research is to update the V&V procedures for roadside safety hardware FEA and to standardize the reporting format. Some of the possible updates include using AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) evaluation criteria instead of NCHRP Report 350 evaluation criteria; evaluating comparison thresholds for other impacts beyond oblique, rigid barrier full-scale impacts; adding criteria for validation against multiple crash tests on the same system; considering a level of validation of various components of the system; including a discussion on basic model limitations; including criteria for comparing occupant compartment deformation; standardizing the critical information and format for simulation results to be presented in a report-like format; and updating or replacing RSVVP curve comparison software to be more compatible with current computer platforms, and make it easier to compare multiple simulations. The research should recommend future research needs including a roadmap for FHWA and state departments of transportation to certify simulation results as an alternative to full-scale crash testing when possible. One current challenge for practitioners reviewing simulation results is identifying the extent of changes when a roadside safety hardware system has been modified (i.e., slightly, moderately, or heavily modified). The research may also recommend how to document or certify simulation analysts’ skills.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $500000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 22-63

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Zhao, Yi

  • Start Date: 20230731
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01889423
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 22-63
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 31 2023 4:36PM