An Innovative I-Bumper Concept for Improved Crashworthiness of Military and Commercial Vehicles
The greatest demand facing the automotive industry has been to provide safer vehicles with high fuel efficiency at minimum cost. Current automotive vehicle structures have one fundamental handicap: a short crumple zone for crash energy absorption. This leaves limited room for further safety improvement, especially for high-speed crashes. Breakthrough technologies are needed. One potential breakthrough is to use active devices instead of conventional passive devices. An innovative inflatable bumper concept , called the “I-bumper,” is being developed by the authors for crashworthiness and safety of military and commercial vehicles. The proposed I-bumper has several active structural components, including a morphing mechanism, a movable bumper, two explosive airbags, and a morphing lattice structure with a locking mechanism that provides desired rigidity and energy absorption capability during a vehicular crash.