The Center for Transportation Computational Mechanics (CeTCoM) at TTI is one of four university-based centers established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Center is supported by research projects sponsored by federal and state transportation agencies and private industry. Due to the prohibitive costs associated with crash testing, engineers are relying more and more on sophisticated analytical models and nonlinear finite element codes to evaluate, design, and analyze roadside safety features. Although the center’s primary focus is roadside safety, the activities of the center are not limited to this area. The center also actively works on project in other areas such as design and evaluation of physical perimeter security devices and dynamic analysis of bridge structures, soils, and pavements.
The Center was established to foster advancements in roadside safety technology with the goal of reducing the tremendous loss of life that occurs on our nation’s highways each year as a result of run-off- road crashes. Crashes involving vehicles that run off the road account for more than half of the 33,000 annual highway-related deaths. The Center focuses on the application of nonlinear, dynamic finite element analysis to roadside safety design and other dynamic impact problems.
Researchers in the Center for Transportation Computational Mechanics have expertise in applying state-of-the-art analytical tools such as LS-DYNA to roadside safety and perimeter security problems. Researchers have dedicated access to an array of high-speed computers that enable large, detailed impact simulations to be run in a short time period. Sophisticated finite element models of vehicles and roadside safety hardware are used to simulate crash tests to evaluate impact performance, assess design alternatives, and perform design optimization in a predictive manner. Use of these sophisticated analysis tools provides an enhanced understanding of crash dynamics that enables researchers to design better, more cost-effective safety hardware at a lower cost to the sponsor.
CeTCoM is part of the Roadside Safety and Physical Security Division. Researchers at the Center have experience in the design, analysis, testing, and evaluation of roadside safety hardware including:
- bridge rails,
- median barriers,
- guardrail-to-bridge rail transitions,
- guardrail end treatments,
- crash cushions,
- breakaway support structures, and
- portable concrete barrier systems.
Research within the Center also addresses the influence of roadside geometric features such as driveways, slopes, ditches, shoulders, and medians on the safety of vehicles encroaching into the roadside environment. Researchers use computer simulation codes to better understand the nature and severity of roadside encroachments, evaluate countermeasures, and develop design guidelines.
Additionally, researchers at the Center work on the design, analysis, testing, and evaluation of perimeter security devices including:
- gates, and
These anti-terrorist devices are designed to arrest attacking vehicles and limit their penetration into a protected facility.
For More InformationRoger Bligh
Center for Computational Mechanics
Texas A&M Transportation Institute
Texas A&M University System
College Station, TX 77843-3135
(979) 845-4377 · fax (979) 845-6107