Engineering Development and Performance of the Chrysler Dakota Fully-Integrated Thermoplastic Instrument Panel 960399

A fully-integrated thermoplastic structural instrument panel (IP) system will be implemented on Chrysler's Dodge Dakota Truck Platform. The structural IP consists of a three-piece monocoque thermoplastic injection molded structure that replaces the traditional retainer, air delivery ducts, steel beams and reinforcements typically used in IP designs. Ribbed thermoplastic bolster systems have been incorporated as part of the energy management system. The structural IP provides the required stiffness to satisfy noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) quality targets and the necessary strength and rigidity to effectively meet FMVSS No. 208 requirements for managing occupant and passenger air bag (PAB) deployment loading during 48 km/h (30 mph) frontal crashes. This paper discusses the engineering development process and performance of the Dakota structural IP system as predicted by finite element simulations and the correlation of the predicted behavior through frontal barrier vehicle crashes.


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