Quick Prototype Methodology for Low Offset Thermoplastic Pedestrian Energy Absorbers 2006-01-1659
This paper describes a methodology to prototype and validate thermoplastic energy absorbers in a broad range of vehicle geometries. The objective of this prototype tool designed with quick prototype methodology is to achieve ready PC/PBT energy absorber designs for pedestrian testing. Generic vehicle models were used to finalize the energy absorber design features. The prototype tool was designed from optimized energy absorber designs that meet pedestrian performance in low packaging space, typically 45–60 mm. A set of prototype tools is being built to match different beam heights and packaging spaces. The tool has also the functionality of achieving different thickness and different design features using the latest manufacturing technologies. A full energy absorber can be built from individual lobes over the width of the car. The finalized design combined with ‘quick prototyping’ methodology was used to finalize the mold design, which can cater to a wide range of vehicle geometries. The prototype designs were validated for different virtual car models. Correlation test was performed between FEA models and prototype molded parts using equivalent rigid impactor test.