Load Path Considerations for Side Crash Compatibility 2007-01-1176
Heavier, larger pickups and SUVs are bound to encounter lighter, smaller passenger vehicles in many future accidents. As the fleet has evolved to include more and more SUVs, their frontal structures are often indistinguishable from pickup fronts. Improvements in geometric compatibility features are crucial to further injury prevention progress in side impact.
In corner crashes where modern bullet passenger car (PC) bumpers make appropriate geometrical overlap with target PC rocker panels, concentrated loads sometimes disrupt foam and plastic bumper corners, creating aggressive edges. In situations where sliding occurs along the structural interface, these sharp edges may slice through doors, panels and pillars. End treatments for such bumper beams should be designed to reduce this aggressive potential.
The experimental comparison presented here demonstrates that load path compatibility can provide a means by which severe door intrusion due to oblique corner impacts may be reduced without severe weight penalties to the vehicles involved.