Design engineering with foams and plastics to enhance vehicle safety 2001-06-0047
Foams and Thermoplastics are materials that have an increasing use to obtain safer and lighter cars. Utilizing the integration potential of plastics, considerable cost efficiencies are obtained. A key element is that predictive modelling is used to achieve optimum system solutions. In this paper both foams and plastic solutions are presented in different applications in the car providing energy-absorbing capabilities and therefore enhancing the safety performance. The first area is that of structural foams in the car body cavities to enhance crash performance. The second area concerns integrated thermoplastic structures in the interior for absorbing impact energy while providing aesthetics and other functionality. The third is that of innovative thermoplastic extruded foam with superior energy efficiency characteristics, applied in head impact environment in the interior of the car as well as potentially in pedestrian safety solutions.