Vehicle Crash and Steering Column Frequency Simulation of an Aluminum Instrument Panel Structure
Recent changes to the U.S. CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) requirements have caused increased focus on alternative vehicle component designs that offer mass savings while maintaining overall vehicle design and performance targets. The instrument panel components comprise approximately 6% of the total vehicle interior mass and are thus a key component of interest in mass optimization efforts. Typically, instrument panel structures are constructed of low carbon tubular steel cross car members with welded stamped steel component brackets. In some cases, instrument panel structures have incorporated high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels to reduce mass by reducing gage. In this study, aluminum low mass instrument panel structure concept designs are developed. This paper illustrates the differences between a HSLA steel solution and four different aluminum instrument panel structure designs.