Severe Frontal Collisions with Partial Overlap - Two Decades of Car Safety Development
Frontal Severe Partial Overlap Collisions (SPOC) also called small overlap crashes pose special challenges with respect to structural design as well as occupant protection. In the early 1990s, the SPOC test method was developed addressing 20-40% overlap against a fixed rigid barrier with initial velocities up to 65 km/h. The knowledge gained has been used in the design of Volvo vehicles since then. Important design principles include front side members orientated along the wheel envelopes together with a strong support structure utilizing a space frame principle with beams loaded mainly in tension and compression. This novel setup was first introduced in the 850-model in 1991 and has been refined and patented (2001) in later Volvo front structures. Among the design principles are multiple front side members on each side, helping energy absorption efficiency and robustness.