Development and Characterization of New Headliner Material to Meet FMVSS 201 Requirements 2000-01-0624
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revised the upper interior head-impact requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 201 to reduce abbreviated injury scale (AIS) 3 or greater injuries or fatalities during vehicle collisions. The more-stringent FMVSS 201 requirements have made both OEMs and material suppliers consider new design approaches and new materials with improved performance. This has led to development of several new trim-design options.
In this paper we discuss the development of a new headliner substrate material that is believed will meet the FMVSS 201 head injury criterion (HIC) of 1000 or less - a value that is directly equivalent to the AIS 3 scale. Also discussed is how both a headform model and analytical methodology were used to evaluate this new material against existing headliner materials. Analytical results achieved via computer-aided engineering (CAE), which was used to simulate the headform impact tests on vehicle upper interiors, were used to modify the formulation of the new material so that it was more likely to provide compliance with head-impact regulations.
Compared to existing headliner substrate, this new material also is also expected to provide increased design flexibility, and improved performance and processability. New trim design concepts with LD-GMT foam and an egg-crate structure will also be discussed.