Improving Side Crash Performance of a Compact Car via CAE 2014-01-0546
The side impact accident is one of the very severe crash modes for the struck side occupants. According to NHTSA fatality reports, side impact accounts for over 25% of the fatalities in the US. Similar fatality estimates have been reported in the EU region. Side crash compliance of a compact car is more severe because of the less space available between the occupant and the vehicle structure, stringent fuel economy, weight and cost targets.
The current work focuses on the development of Side body structure of a compact car through Computer Aided Tools (CAE), for meeting the Side crash requirements as per ECE R95 Regulation. A modified design philosophy has been adopted for controlling the intrusion of upper and lower portion of B-pillar in order to mitigate the injury to Euro SIDII dummy. At first, initial CAE evaluation of baseline vehicle was conducted. Further design iterations were carried out to optimize the stiffness of B-pillar for meeting the performance targets of B-pillar intrusion and velocity. The developed countermeasure package enabled in reducing the weight of side body structure of vehicle by 25% while satisfying the performance targets.
Finally all the countermeasures were implemented in the Prototype vehicle and physical crash test was conducted for the final verification. Test and CAE results showed very good correlation in terms of overall vehicle deformation as well as B-pillar intrusion and velocity profile. Significant improvement in the Side crash performance of the vehicle was achieved with the newly adopted design philosophy.