Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering


Engineering, Mechanical.


Worthwood, D.,




The focus of this dissertation is based upon two objectives. Firstly, experimental tests were conducted with collisions between a three spoke steering wheel and a deformable chestform. A large amount of testing was completed which examined the effects of variations in the column angle and wheel angle of the steering wheel, as well as the velocity of the chestform as it collided with the steering wheel. Secondly, detailed finite element models of the testing apparatus were developed, and simulated under identical testing conditions to see if explicit finite element simulations may be used to predict the performance of the three spoke steering wheel in a collision type situation. Through an analysis of the experimental data, it was observed that the calculated energy absorbed during the impact process by the steering wheel and deformable chestform depended significantly upon the column angle, wheel angle, and impact velocity. Surface contours have been developed which illustrate the effect of the three independent variables on the peak impact load, the peak impact displacement, and the calculated energy absorption. Furthermore, a method to quantify the energy absorption characteristics of a steering wheel has been developed. Explicit finite element simulations were conducted for twelve different testing situations. Overall, a good relationship between numerical simulations and experimental testing was found, indicating that finite element modeling may be used as a predictive tool in steering wheel design and development.Dept. of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1999 .A48. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0579. Advisers: D. Worthwood; R. Gaspar. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1999.