Small Overlap Impact Countermeasures for Automobiles 2015-01-1491
Automotive OEMs, insurance agencies and regulatory bodies are continuously looking at various accident statistics and proper ways of evaluating unaccounted (as per current regulations and safety ratings) accident scenarios to improve the safety standards of cars. Small overlap and oblique impacts during which a corner of a car hits a tree or the corner of another vehicle are two such situations. Most of the vehicles that are on road scored low when tested for these impact scenarios. This paper focuses on development of energy-absorbing members, using engineering thermoplastics materials, which can be mounted on the BIW of a vehicle, as countermeasures to small overlap impact. Various design and material configurations options, including metal plastic and composite plastic structural members mounted on the BIW are evaluated through CAE studies, against small overlap/oblique impact scenarios. Different approaches of impact energy absorption and energy transfer have been studied to improve crashworthiness of vehicle. Vehicles with and without these structural members are evaluated for small overlap impact using CAE tools like Ls-Dyna. It is observed that vehicles mounted with these additional structural members perform significantly better in small overlap impact (SOI) scenarios than vehicles without these members.