A method of using computer simulation to assess the functional performance of football boots

2015-06-08T08:25:43Z (GMT) by Samuel Fraser
This thesis details the development of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques to simulate assembly and functional performance of football boots within a virtual environment. With a highly competitive market and seasonal changes in boot design common, the current design process can require numerous iterations, each adding time and cost to the development cycle. Using a reliable model allows evaluation of novel design concepts without the necessity to manufacture physical prototypes, and thus has potential financial benefits as well as reducing development time. A modelling approach was developed to construct a three dimensional boot model using FEA techniques, simulating the assembly of representative boot constituent parts based on manufacturing patterns, geometries and materials. Comparison between the modelled and physical boots demonstrated good agreement. Assessment of physical boot manufacture enabled the validation of the simulated assembly techniques, with digital image correlation hardware and software used to provide experimental measurements of the surface deformation. Good agreement was reported, demonstrating the predictive capabilities of FEA. Extensive review of literature provided applicable loading conditions of the boot during game play, with bending and torsional stiffness identified as important parameters. Boundary conditions associated with the foot during these movements provided a platform from which mechanical tests were used and developed to quantify boot function. Modelling techniques were developed and applied to the assembled FEA boot model, simulating the loading conditions to verify the validity when compared with experimental measurements. Bending and torsional stiffness extracted from the model were compared with the physical equivalent, demonstrating good predictive capabilities. The model was able to represent bending stiffness of the physical equivalent within 5.6% of an accepted boot range up to 20°, with torsional stiffness represented within the accepted range between 10° inversion to 7.5° eversion, corresponding to a large proportion of match play. Two case studies proved the applicability of the FEA techniques to simulate assembly and determine mechanical functionality virtually through a combination of automated modelling methods and a bespoke framework, demonstrating how it could be implemented within the industrial design process.