Lateral Structural Deformation in Frontal Impacts 2006-01-1395
In frontal crashes, lateral deformations can occur as a result of various mechanisms. Unfortunately, the crush energy associated with such deformations cannot be assessed as long as the structural properties are unknown. That has been the situation to date, due to the lack of appropriate crash test data.
The present research attempts to address this deficit. A passenger car was crash-tested in a mode designed to induce lateral deformations that are significant compared to longitudinal crush. This was done via a series of three repeated impacts on the same vehicle so as to obtain, in a cost-effective manner, structural characterization data at increasing crash severities. Various cause-and-effect relationships (structural characterization models) were considered with an eye to selecting the one that best predicts the crush energy. Insights obtained from analyzing the behavior of the front structure are presented. The derived structural model is presented, along with recommendations regarding its use.
Structurally, the test vehicle initially loads primarily in compression, until lateral forces induce significant bends in the load-bearing structures, causing them to deform under more-or-less constant force.