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Improved design for frontal protection

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Author: Sharpe, N. · Vendrig, R. · Houtzager, K.
Institution: TNO Wegtransportmiddelen
Source:ESV 17th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles, held June 4-7, 2001 in Amsterdam. Session 5 'Development in Frontal Impact Protection (Legal, Technical)
Identifier: 362551
Article number: Paper No. 329
Keywords: Traffic · analysis · belts · crashes · developments · failure analysis · kinematics · occupant protection · restraint systems · rollover · rollover crashes


The requirements of frontal impact legislation and the comparative evaluations of consumer organizations have improved occupant crash protection. Passenger vehicle bodies have crumple zones developed through rigid flat barrier testing and improved passenger cell stability has resulted from consideration of offset deformable frontal impacts. Pressures to minimise cost and weight, whilst still maintaining satisfactory crash performance, could potentially lead to vehicle designs in which the crash behaviour of the structure has been optimised for barrier testing. TNO has undertaken a collaborative research project with Alcoa Reynolds Aluminium to investigate how the energy from a variety of different frontal impacts could be reliably managed within the structure of a medium sized passenger vehicle. The concept structural design developed within this project is intended to provide an acceptable amount of energy absorption independent of the precise orientation of objects with which vehicle collision may occur