Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

William J. Altenhof


Automotive engineering, Mechanical engineering




Finite element models of the vehicle for crashworthiness have traditionally included simplified representations of isolators intended to improve noise and vibration. However, the low stiffness of the hyperelastic material employed in such components allows for large deformations under impact conditions with a significant effect upon the accelerations experienced by the occupant. Modeling these components is challenging due to the non-linear behaviour of the material and the large deformations. The purpose of this research was to identify practices for developing accurate and efficient finite element models of chassis components incorporating hyperelastic materials. To maximize the comprehensiveness of this process, this research included quasi-static and dynamic material characterization; material model selection and implementation; finite element modeling techniques; quasi-static and dynamic component characterization; and model validation. Conclusions included the importance of comprehensive material characterization, material model selection, variation in results due to solver updates, and methodologies for model validation through component characterization.