Integrated Inner Door Panel/Energy Absorber Designs for Side Impact Occupation Protection 960151

Inner door panels provide the interface between the occupant and the vehicle side structure They have to meet aesthetic requirements in order to provide a continuous and harmonious flow between the forward components, i e, instrument panel and pillar trim, and the rear components in the occupant compartment, while meeting engineering and occupant protection requirements Occupant protection upon side impact has led to the use of a variety of supplemental devices sandwiched between the inner door panel and the inner sheet metal stamping The present paper discusses a different approach to meet side impact protection with a collapsible energy absorber that is molded in injection molded door panels, thus becoming integral to the panel itself This approach eliminates the need for assembly of an independent absorber cartridge simplifying the assembly of the door system and reducing the material mix that results when using thermoset polyurethane foam blocks with thermoplastic panels, thus facilitating the disassembly and recycle of the panel


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