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Structural front unit global approach
Published June 04, 2001 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
The structural design of current vehicle front units has to account for an increasing number of constraints: improvement of real-world performance in safety for occupants and others road users, perform in the various ratings and meet future regulations. Therefore the structural car design is the result of a compromise between pedestrian protection, car-to-car compatibility and self- protection.
In addition to these safety considerations, reparability constraints are becoming more and more demanding and intrusive toward the other safety requirements. The need to reduce emissions through fuel consumption control requires a reduction of the overall body weight which leads usually to more difficulties to achieve a correct structural behavior.
Some of these constraints lead to solutions which are in opposition and in general to unsatisfactory compromises. It is suggested to develop a more comprehensive approach in order to better take into account both safety requirements and reparability.
This paper describes the different relevant factors for each safety and reparability requirement, proposes compromise among them in terms of structural aspects. It will also show that it is often difficult to find an answer which satisfies all these aspects.