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Evaluating structural foam as an alternative to steel in a front offset CAE analysis
Published June 04, 2001 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
This study compares a lightweight structural foam design to a steel design while meeting the same level of performance. Static crush analysis using LS-DYNA was conducted for this evaluation. Partial structures of the white body were crushed to determine their performance in two areas: (1) the front frame rail near the lower dash and (2) the front A-Pillar area to check intrusion numbers. Structural foam designs were compared to the base steel designs and modifications were made to improve performance. The new structural foam designs were considered having met their target if their performance was similar to the base model. The final iteration of the structural foam design met the performance target set by the base model. The simulation showed that structural foam would be a good replacement for selected steel parts and would improve performance according to the criteria described above. It would also reduce weight and cost while maintaining similar body performance in crash tests.