Two methods for performing transient inertia analysis of vehicle mechanism systems are presented in this paper. The analysis techniques are used to predict the response of automotive mechanisms to the accelerations associated with vehicle impacts. General analytical methods for evaluating rotational system dynamics are presented. The utility of the techniques are demonstrated by evaluation of a vehicle outside door handle. The methods, along with time dependent accelerations associated with vehicle impact, are used in a specific example to perform a dynamic analysis of an automobile outside door handle. The first method utilizes generalized Lagrange equations for a non-conservative system to formulate a second order nonlinear differential equation that defines the response of the handle components to the transient input. The differential equation is solved numerically by employing a fourth order Runge-Kutta method. The second method uses commercially available two dimensional rigid body dynamics software to evaluate the events. The results predicted using the analytical techniques are compared to experimental data generated by high speed film analysis of latch tests performed on a high G acceleration sled at Ford Motor Company.

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