Mass scaling is a technique used in explicit nonlinear finite element analysis that adds mass to relatively small elements in order to increase the time step, and thus, decrease the overall cpu requirements of a simulation. With multi-million element vehicle crash models becoming common, the likelihood of several very small, time step controlling elements is high. Mass scaling can provide great benefits in these cases. However, there is very little information on the actual usage and possible effects of mass scaling for vehicle crashworthiness in the literature. Inherit to explicit FEA is the well known high frequency content in accelerations. Thus, even very small addition of mass will result in different acceleration traces. Because of that, various techniques are needed to determine if the mass scaled results are the same, or at least similar enough, as the non-mass scaled results. Two applications are investigated; a crush tube and an NCAP test of a Chevy Silverado. The latter model size approaches one million elements.

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