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Technical Paper

Development of an Instrument Panel with an Integrated Chute and Seamless Airbag Door

Automobile manufacturers, designers, and cockpit system integrators are in constant search of solutions that reduce the number of interruptions across interior surfaces. Engineers require that this solution be efficient in terms of reliability, parts complexity, packaging space, and cost. The purpose of this paper is to describe the design and development of a cost effective, simplified seamless passenger airbag door system with an integrated chute for instrument panels. Through engineering thermoplastic material property advantages and scoring designs, this solution has a construction which may meet both styling and performance criteria while eliminating component parts such as a separate airbag chute, hinges, tethers, brackets, inserts, fabrics, and fasteners.
Technical Paper

Quick Prototype Methodology for Low Offset Thermoplastic Pedestrian Energy Absorbers

This paper describes a methodology to prototype and validate thermoplastic energy absorbers in a broad range of vehicle geometries. The objective of this prototype tool designed with quick prototype methodology is to achieve ready PC/PBT energy absorber designs for pedestrian testing. Generic vehicle models were used to finalize the energy absorber design features. The prototype tool was designed from optimized energy absorber designs that meet pedestrian performance in low packaging space, typically 45–60 mm. A set of prototype tools is being built to match different beam heights and packaging spaces. The tool has also the functionality of achieving different thickness and different design features using the latest manufacturing technologies. A full energy absorber can be built from individual lobes over the width of the car. The finalized design combined with ‘quick prototyping’ methodology was used to finalize the mold design, which can cater to a wide range of vehicle geometries.