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Drop Test Simulation

Impact analysis, also known as drop testing, is one of the most important stages of product design and development. Software that can simulate a drop test experiment accurately yields dramatic cost and time-to-market benefits for manufactures.

Altair drop test simulation is applied in various industries including electronic devices, cell phones, household appliances, white goods, and packaging. Compared to manual drop tests performed by a person or a machine, automated drop tests provide accuracy and repeatability and offer better insights to optimize and learn from every iteration. 

Here is an example of drop impact analysis process for your reference

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Physical Drop Tests vs. Simulation

Evaluating designs through simulation reduces late tooling changes

"Drop tests of prototypes produce unreliable, inaccurate results, because the materials from which they are made usually differ from those of mass-produced products, while drop tests of mass production trial products may lead to costly die modifications," explains Hironari Ogata, IAQ Business Unit Concurrent Development Team at Panasonic Ecology Systems.

Ogata's team originated a multi-step plan to analyze a product in each stage of its development. They began by drop-testing a single component, then moved on to a combination of several components, an assembled product, and finally the packaged products. At each step, the team employed Altair Radioss to calculate the drop-test impact. 

How to Perform Drop Test Simulation

Simulation of drop tests and product misuse ensure robust and durable products. A drop test is a mechanical verification in which a component is dropped from a defined height onto a defined surface. It is usually carried out as part of a product's quality management to ensure its safety and durability.

Drop tests can be performed in several ways but a numerical drop test conducted in suitable program like Radioss - based on an explicit implementation of the finite element method (FEM) - allows for impact simulation to occur in the product development phase. Weaknesses and design flaws can be detected by analyzing the mechanical  stresses in the material.

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Drop Test Simulation Setup

The requirements for virtual drop test go beyond the ground surface and drop height. When considering a model with full product assembly with pre-tensioned bolts, multi-material components, foam packing, and pre-stressed plastic foil wrapping, Altair's FE-solver and visualization technology are able to handle the complexity. 

Altair's open simulation solutions integrate seamlessly with all major design environments and CAD tools.

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Drop Test Material Characteristics

In drop test simulation, manufacturing induced material behavior needs to be considered for specific material properties like strain rate dependent hardening. A comprehensive material database and an efficient material modeling approach improve the reliability of drop test results. 

Material models from Altair Multiscale Designer can be used in implicit and explicit analyses in Altair OptiStruct, Radioss, and many third-party FEA solvers.

Customer Successes in Drop Test Simulation

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Robust Transportation

While Haier is known for its quality products, its air conditioners were being damaged during transportation, leading to higher costs and delays in final product delivery. Haier engineers turned to Altair to create virtual simulation of a drop test that would provide extensive data on the stresses and strains involved.

Read Haier Customer Story

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Packaging Optimization

Mabe wanted to optimize product packaging for a combination washer-dryer. The challenge was to produce an optimized packaging design that considered a variety of loading scenarios and alternative package designs, and to do so very early in the design stage before any physical testing of the packaging was performed. 

Read Mabe Customer Story

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Automated Drop Test Simulation

LG Electronics used Altair's automation capabilities and engineering expertise to significantly speed up and standardize routine drop test simulation processes, increase reliability and repeatability, and capture knowledge and practices. They were able to slice the time required for drop-test simulation from a week to just hours. 

Read LG Customer Story


Request for a demonstration or web meeting on our simulation solutions.


Reach out our sales team

directly for a quote

Timothy Ong

Business Development Manager


HP: +6012 682 0347

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