Application of Light Weight Structural Foams for Crashworthiness of In-Production Passenger Cars 2005-26-327
There is a continuous effort in enhancing the automobile crashworthiness while also trying to reduce weight. This up-gradation is even more difficult if the vehicle is in production due to additional constraints of production feasibility. Higher strength steels and add-on reinforcements are typical measures taken in such circumstances. Even these modifications require manufacturing setup changes and may lead to increase in product weight.
One of the critical issues in automotive safety is to ensure passenger compartment integrity which is sometimes compromised due to section shape failure of a critical member. New concepts using structural foams have been introduced for increased strength. These materials work by avoiding collapse of critical sections and have the potential to provide adequate section strength with minimum mass penalty.
This paper presents a Finite Element based case study on the application of structural foam at critical member of a passenger car and potential of enhancing crash safety. In the initial part of this case study, first correlation of component test data with Finite element simulation was carried out for material validation. This material model is later used in FE analysis to study the effect of foam in A-pillar area (BIW) of an existing production car.