Performance of Lightweight Materials for Vehicle Interior Trim Subject to Monotonic Loading and Low Velocity Impact
The usage of lightweight materials such as plastics and their derivatives continues to increase in automobiles driven by the urgency for weight reduction. For structural performance, body components such as A-pillar or B-pillar trim, instrument panel, etc. have to meet various requirements including resistance to penetration and energy absorption capability under impact indentation. A range of plain and reinforced thermoplastics and thermosetting plastics has been considered in the present study in the form of plates which are subject to low velocity perforation in a drop-weight impact testing set-up with a rigid cylindrical indenter fitted to a tup. The tested plates are made of polypropylene (PP), nanoclay-reinforced PP of various percentages of nanoclay content, wood-PP composites of different volume fractions of wood fiber, a jute-polyester composite, and a hybrid jute-polyester reinforced with steel.