This paper describes the methods taken to effect a step change in passenger car bumper design in order to meet Federal Standard 215, set forth by the Department of Transportation. The basic goal is to achieve a lightweight, low-cost bumper that is compatible with styling and durable enough to suffer little or no damage during impact at 5 mph (8 km/h).
Three major areas-bumper design, materials, and fabrication-are treated separately and also as they interrelate. Boxlike sections, utilizing the face bar as an integral stressed member and judiciously employing beads and gussets, give best strength and stiffness Materials should be of highest yield strength compatible with formability, and welded or bonded fabrication, approaching one-piece box construction, results in optimum structural properties.
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