SOLIDWORKS Simulation Nonlinear Study Example of a Hard Hat Impact Test

Article by Malak Souissi, CSWP updated September 5, 2022


We all know that safety comes first whether it’s on vacation or at work. Well what happens if you’re a construction worker on site wearing a hard hat and a one inch wrench lands on your head from a 3 meter height? Lets use SOLIDWORKS Simulation Nonlinear to determine how the hard hat deals with the impact.

Photo by <a href="">Paul Becker</a> on <a href="">Unsplash</a>

Scaffolding Photo by Paul Becker on Unsplash

What happens when a wrench drops onto a hard hat?

In this simulation, we used SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium Nonlinear Dynamics to simulate the impact shock of the wrench falling down in a straight path onto a hard hat. The techniques used to prep the simulation (meshing, constraining, loading, simplifying the geometry and tweaking the solve time) can be learnt by taking our live online SOLIDWORKS Simulation Essentials training course.


SOLIDWORKS Simulation Nonlinear Study Considerations:

  • The wrench falls from a 2.8m deck (standard scaffolding deck height).
  • The wrench is 365.8 grams and made from Cast Stainless Steel.
  • The hard hat is 305.96 grams and made from 8619K441 HDPE.

At a height of 2.8 meters, the terminal velocity at which the wrench impacts the hard hat is 7.41 (m/s) (drag is ignored for the sake of simplicity).

The stress resulted by the immediate impact reaches a max of 25,085 PSI and it is represented as a baseline. This would make the wrench penetrate the hard hat, and if that was a human skull, the results are catastrophic! The hard hat material can be later chosen and added a Factor of Safety Plot to determine critical regions

This should be a great reminder for safety for all the hardworking laborers out there! Wear your hard hats and be safe! Happy Labor Day!


Take a test drive of SOLIDWORKS or the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform and see how you can use it to conduct real life simulation scenarios! Contact Javelin, a TriMech Company today »

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Malak Souissi

Malak Souissi (CSWP) is a MSc. Mechanical Engineering specializing in Mechanical Design & FEA. He has over 3 years of experience in the Mechanical Design & Process engineering of industrial equipment. He also has a background in Marine Systems Engineering with on-board ship experience.