Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Horstemeyer, Mark

Committee Member

Bammann, Douglas

Committee Member

Berry, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Mechanical Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering


The objective of this study is to characterize critical component structure-properties on a Dodge Neon for material response refinement in crashworthiness simulations. Crashworthiness simulations using full-scale finite element (FE) vehicle models are an important part of vehicle design. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were over six million vehicle crashes in the United States during 2004, claming lives of more than 40,000 people. Crashworthiness simulations on a detailed FE model of a 1996 Plymouth/Dodge Neon were conducted on the NHTSA for different impact crash scenarios. The top-ten energy-absorbing components of the vehicle were determined. Material was extracted from the as-built vehicle and microstructural analyses were conducted. Tension tests at different temperatures and strain rates were performed as well as microhardness tests. Different microstructural spatial clustering and mechanical properties were found for diverse vehicle components. A plasticity model based on microstructure was used to predict the material response of the front bumper.



Microstructure||Characterization||Steel||Material Model