1997-02-24

New Polyurethane Polymers for Energy Absorbing Automotive Applications 970168

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has enacted numerous Federal Regulations dealing with automotive occupant protection. This paper deals with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #201 (Upper Interior Head Impact Protection), and describes a new series of polyurethane foams and polymers which are being developed to efficiently protect the occupant of a vehicle during a collision. These new energy absorbing polymers are being developed with a unique chemistry that yields a semi-rigid thermoformable foam with enhanced Energy Absorbing (EA) characteristics. This chemistry in combination with a revolutionary new manufacturing process developed by Foamex known as Controlled Pressure Polymerization or VPF yields a series of urethane polymers with unique properties. In addition, this paper covers a joint development program between Foamex and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories (LLNL) in the area of finite element simulation of a Featureless, Free Motion Headform (FMH) impacting these unique foams and polymers.

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