Evolution of Structural Instrument Panels 2002-01-1270
In structural Instrument Panels the conventionally used cross car beam is eliminated by using the plastic structure as a load carrying construction. Due to the continuous search for lowering costs and weight in the development of new cars, the concept has been applied a number of times. Many articles have been published since on this subject, describing the design concepts, engineering development and types of plastic material applied. In general, the structural instrument panel assemblies show to have substantially lower cost and weight compared with conventional cross car beam based instrument panel structures while all of performance requirements are met. Also, improved packaging space, reduction in assembly time and improved recyclability are seen as major advantages. The use of state of the art Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) has proved to reduce development time and costs. The present paper gives an overview of the evolution of structural instrument panel concepts as seen in the past seven years.