Instrument Panel Weight Reduction via Structural Optimization
The drive for lower weight instrument panels (IP) can be addressed with different design approaches. The first and more traditional approach is to substitute existing substrate materials with materials having a higher stiffness-to-density ratio. The second approach looks at the sub-system level where weight reduction is achieved through part integration. To exemplify this type of designs, examples of innovative knee bolster solutions are shown. The third and most radical approach is weight reduction at the system level. Alternatives to instrument panels that use traditional cross car beam structures will be presented. With these alternatives, hybrid and structural instrument panels can be developed in which weight reduction is achieved by part integration and by allowing plastic materials to fulfill a more significant structural role than in traditional IPs.