Stiffness and Geometric Compatibility in Front-to-Side Crashes 2002-01-1020
In this study, the comparative stiffness of vehicle side and frontal structures is determined by available static test and crash test data. NHTSA has conducted a series of staged crash tests where a Honda Accord is impacted by different bullet vehicles at a closing velocity of 32.5 mph. These staged front-to-side crash tests are examined to assess the extent of damage to both the bullet and struck vehicle. The load cell barrier data for the bullet vehicles used in NHTSA's vehicle-to-vehicle front-to-side crash tests are examined to determine the geometric and stiffness properties of the frontal structures as measured in the NCAP tests. The geometric and stiffness measurements during the early stages of frontal crush are most influential in front-to-side crashes. The barrier data provides useful stiffness information. However, the number of rows of load cells may be insufficient to provide geometric information. The bumper height and width appears to be a more accurate measurement of the load path that initially contacts the side of the struck vehicle. The bumper height for 20 representative vehicles was measured and summarized.