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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3084052, 11 pages
Research Article

Improved Multibody Dynamics for Investigating Energy Dissipation in Train Collisions Based on Scaling Laws

1Key Laboratory of Traffic Safety on Track, Ministry of Education, School of Traffic & Transportation Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan 410075, China
2China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Industry, Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd., Qingdao, Shandong 266111, China

Received 14 January 2016; Accepted 15 May 2016

Academic Editor: Tai Thai

Copyright © 2016 Heng Shao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to investigate energy dissipation in train collisions. A 1/8 scaled train model, about one-dimensional in longitudinal direction, was used to carry out a scaled train collision test. Corresponding multibody dynamic simulations were conducted using traditional and improved method model (IMM) in ADAMS. In IMM, the connection between two adjacent cars was expressed by a nonlinear spring and energy absorbing structures were equivalently represented by separate forces, instead of one force. IMM was able to simulate the motion of each car and displayed the deformation of structures at both ends of the cars. IMM showed larger deformations and energy absorption of structures in moving cars than those in stationary cars. Moreover, the asymmetry in deformation proportion in main energy absorbing structures decreased with increasing collision speed. The asymmetry decreased from 11.69% to 3.60% when the collision speed increased from 10 km/h to 36 km/h.