Design Sensitivity Analysis (DSA) is a widely used technique in many areas of finite element analysis, but one that hasn’t yet become available for industrial problems in crashworthiness and automotive safety. In the following effort, an implementation of DSA in the automotive safety simulation program, Radioss, is described. Radioss is a non-linear structures program using an explicit time integration method. A full set of DSA equations are developed and integrated into Radioss so that the design sensitivities can be computed directly and accurately as a result of a single crashworthiness simulation. Some validation results are included. The resulting methodology promises to be an extremely useful tool for engineers involved in the design of safety and crashworthiness of automobiles.

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