The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 84 (2006) > Issues > Issue 1 > Analytical and experimental investigation of the behaviour of a rollover protective structure
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Analytical and experimental investigation of the behaviour of a rollover protective structure

Rollover protective structures play a vital role in protecting the operators of large earthmoving machines which are commonly used in the rural and mining sectors. These structures typically consist of a moment resisting steel frame that is required to withstand the impact forces sustained by the vehicle during a rollover and provide a survival space for the operator during such an event. Recent advances in analytical modelling techniques have made it possible to model accurately the response behaviour of these types of structures when subjected to load and energy requirements according to current performance standards adopted both in Australia and internationally. This paper is concerned with the response behaviour of a rollover protective structure (ROPS) fitted to a 125t rigid frame dump truck. Destructive experimental testing which involved the application of static loads to simulate the impact forces created during a rollover has been conducted on a 1/2 scale model ROPS for this particular vehicle. The testing program has involved complete instrumentation of the ROPS to enable corresponding member stresses and deflections to be recorded. In addition to this, non-linear finite element analysis has also been performed on this ROPS using the FEA software package ABAQUS version 6.3. The first stage of this computer analysis involved subjecting the ROPS to static loads about the lateral, vertical and longitudinal axes of the ROPS and comparing, results with those obtained from the experimental investigation and calibrating the computer model. Further research will involve using the calibrated finite element models to carry out dynamic simulations incorporating energy absorbing devices in the ROPS to optimise the level of energy absorption and enhance performance and operator safety. B. J. Clark, BE Hons, PhD, MIEAust Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Prof. David P. Thambiratnam, BSc(Eng) Hons, MSc, PhD, CPEng, FICE, FASCE, FIEAust Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia N. J. Perera, BSc(Eng) Hons, CPEng, FIStructE, FIEAust Managing Director, Bird & Marshal Ltd, U.K.

Author(s): Clark, B J;Thambiratnam, David P;Perera, N J

Keywords: rollover protective structures;vehicles;steel;frames;modelling;testing;loads;finite element analysis