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Car crash simulations on a highway gate2020-02-07T20:40:59-05:00

Project Description


CLIENT : Versilis

INDUSTRY : Transportation



Versilis is specialized in innovative traffic control solutions to increase traffic operations’ safety and efficiency. They called upon Creaform Engineering’s Numerical Simulation expertise to help design a new retractable gate for vehicles on highways. The goal was to have a successful first impact certification tests using non-linear explicit simulations along with in-house experimental testing procedures.

Our team used finite element models of a Chevrolet Silverado and Toyota Yaris, in conjunction with the finite element models of the gate to test different impact configurations on both vehicles for speeds up to 118 km/h. Non-linear explicit calculation scheme (using LS-Dyna) enabled the team to represent material behavior, including failures, but also to guarantee the safety of the gate. Moreover, numerical simulation helped in the identification of critical conditions and scenarios to be tested for the certification. From a technical point of view, achieving representative impact with reliable contact reactions between the two vehicles and the gate was a challenging aspect.

At the end of the project, Creaform Engineering solved Versilis’s Challenge by carrying out the required numerical simulations within the project’s tight deadlines and providing relevant conclusions. Over 100 different situations were simulated to ensure that our team was considering all the worst-case scenarios. On top of that, FEA services allowed Versilis to reduce the risks and delays required for the certification process of their new gate.

Services provided

  • Detailed 3D mesh of the gate, including structural components, pre-loaded cables and fasteners, for precise strength and stiffness representation
  • Variation of Impact conditions for more generalized conclusions
  • Identification of the critical impact locations
  • Identification of failed structural components and debris/projectiles
  • Animations of the predicted impact outcomes



  • Femap / LS-Dyna
  • Non-Linear Transient Explicit