A validated railway vehicle interior layout with multibody dummies and finite element seats models for crash analysis

Jorge Ambrósio, Marta Carvalho, João Milho, Susana Escalante, Roberto Martín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a methodology for the validation of a numerical model of a railway interior with an inline seating layout arrangement, based on the use of multibody and finite element approaches for the analysis of the passive safety. We model the railway interior layout using a nonlinear finite element model of the passenger seats and all supporting structures. Multibody models of test dummies, appropriate to the identification of the injury mechanisms, are used as measuring tools of the human exposure to injury. The crash scenario model uses a crash pulse, which is the surrogate for the impact of the railway vehicle structure. Being the multibody dummy validated independently by the software vendor and the nonlinear finite element structural models built with detailed data, the validation of the complete layout involves the identification of the uncertain parameters used in the scenario construction and not of the parameters used in the independent models already validated. The interaction between the multibody and finite element is represented via a penalty contact force model, which, together with the dummy positioning data, provides the uncertain parameter set used in the validation process. An experimental test of the inline seating layout, carried with a physical prototype, provides the reference dynamic response for the validation of the numerical model. The injury levels measured with the dummies provide the reference injury criteria values used in the validation process. Following the model validation, we discuss the results obtained for the nominal crash scenario in the framework of the most relevant injury indices for railway passenger passive safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-212
JournalMultibody System Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Impact biomechanics
  • Multibody dynamics
  • Nonlinear finite elements
  • Railway crashworthiness
  • Railway passive safety
  • Secondary impact


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