Browse Publications Technical Papers 2001-06-0167

Modular door system for side impact safety of motor vehicles 2001-06-0167

Side impact collision is one of the toughest safety challenges facing the Auto Industry today. Over thirteen thousand deaths, due to side impact, occurred during 1998 in the United States alone. The main difficulty in designing for side impact collisions is the limited crumple zone between the impacting vehicle and the impacted occupant.
This paper presents a proprietary side impact protective door system within the space between the outer skin of a car door and the occupant, which will be as efficient as those already standard in frontal impact. The main objective for introducing the side impact structural system is to maximize energy absorption and minimize injury to the occupant.
The developed structural side impact door system acts as a Primary Structure, to be assembled as a truly modular entity. This primary structure is also packaging modular in the sense that it acts as a carrier for the door latch, window regulator and hinges.
A variation in safety and structural performance of the developed door system can be achieved by integrating the structural modular door with the vehicle body, using a patented integration system known as Door And Chassis-frame Integration Technology (DACIT). Unlike the traditional doors, that are just suspended weights, the modular door is truly structural and therefore adds strength to the vehicle body. When DACIT is used with the door system the vehicle door becomes part of the overall vehicle structure.
The design and development of the side impact modular door system for different size vehicles with and without DACIT will be discussed. In addition, the five stars rating achieved during several side impact crash tests simulating Sport Utility Vehicles hitting mid-size vehicles, equipped with the developed modular door system, will be presented.


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