Head Impact Protection using a Light Weight Composite Tubular Structure 2000-01-0628
O-EA tubing is a composite structure, made of aluminum and paper, that is being used for energy absorption and crash injury mitigation in automotive head impact, side impact and knee bolster applications. This paper describes the component testing, material/geometry characterization and the evolution of a finite element model of the O-EA tubing through a 3-Stage methodology. In the first part of the paper, a description of the O-EA tubing construction and the manufacturing process is provided. Next, the material and geometry characterization of the constituent aluminum and paper layers, using static component tests and a finite element model, is described. A layered composite material model in conjunction with a shell element discretization of the geometry is identified to be the most suitable modeling approach. Subsequently, the dynamic impact tests and their corresponding simulations with the layered composite material model are compared and the model parameters are further refined on the basis of this comparison. Finally, an assessment of the in-vehicle head impact protection (per FMVSS 201U regulations), utilizing the tubing model evolved thus far, is described.