System Level Design Simulation to Predict Passive Safety Performance for CFRP Automotive Structures
Despite increasingly stringent crash requirements, the body structures of future mainstream production cars need to get lighter. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) composites with a density 1/5th of steel and very high specific energy absorption represent a material technology where substantial mass can be saved when compared to traditional steel applications. BMW have addressed the demanding challenges of producing several hundred composite Body-in-White (BIW) assemblies a day and are committed to significant adoption of composites in future vehicle platforms, as demonstrated in the upcoming i3 and i8 models. A next step to further integrate composites into passenger cars is for primary structural members, which also perform critical roles in passive safety by absorbing large amounts of energy during a crash event.