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Technical Paper

New Materials Technology for Achieving Both Crashworthiness and Weight Reduction Using Energy-Absorbing Steel with Higher Strain-Rate Sensitivity

This paper presents a new material technology that can achieve both crashworthiness and weight reduction of the vehicle body. This new technology is based on three fundamental approaches. One is a technique for evaluating high-speed material deformation characteristics related to the crush behavior of energy-absorbing structures. A second is the material concept of high tensile steel featuring both increased material strength and higher strain-rate sensitivity in order to improve its energy-absorbing capacity. We have found 590N/mm2-class dual-phase (DP) steel consistent with this concept. The third is a technique for estimating the crush behavior of body structures, taking into account the plate thickness reduction and work hardening distribution resulting from the press-forming process. Finally, it was shown that the use of DP steel results in a 15% reduction in the weight of absorbing structures without affecting crashworthiness.