Polyurethane Foam Systems For NVH and Improved Crashworthiness 2001-01-1467
Recently, automotive engineers have been looking at rigid polyurethane foam systems for the advantages their application brings to vehicle design and performance. The benefits range from NVH management achieved through effective body cavity sealing and improved structural dynamics, to enhanced vehicle crashworthiness. These benefits can be realized through application of polyurethane foam systems designed for energy management. These systems offer multifunctional, low cost solutions to traditional approaches and can be modeled early in the vehicle design stage. In many cases, the overall vehicle mass is reduced as reinforcements are eliminated and/or sheet metal thickness is decreased.
Dow Automotive has developed a family of water blown polyurethane foams specifically for these applications. Development has focused on foam systems designed for impact optimization, allowing OEM's to optimize the body structure content. With adequate optimization the potential result is a mass and cost savings with no compromise in performance. The energy management and energy dissipation foam systems for crashworthiness applications are multifunctional in that they also effectively seal body cavities and improve structural stiffness, thereby providing NVH control as they enhance crash performance. The automotive application of these materials validates their effectiveness in reducing NVH, increasing body structure rigidity and minimizing crash displacement, with the latter significantly reducing energy transfer to the vehicle passenger compartment and the potential for occupant injury.