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Design of An Energy-Absorbing Truck-Front Bumper Bar
Published May 13, 1996 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
This paper reports on an experimental investigation aimed at reducing fatalities and injury associated with head-on collisions between passenger vehicles and trucks, or other heavy vehicles. In such collisions the truck typically overrides the front structure of the passenger car causing extreme occupant compartment intrusion. This is due in part to the relative rigidity of the truck's structure, and to the incompatibility in the heights of the bumper bars. In addition, the strength and stiffness of the truck front means that very little energy in the collision is absorbed by the truck. This paper focuses on the design and testing of a mechanism, mounted to the truck front, designed to prevent underride and to absorb a significant portion of the crash energy.
Full-scale, truck-to-car crash tests were performed using a prototype energy absorbing, underride resisting, bumper bar system, at impact speeds ranging from 56 to 100 km/h.
From these initial tests it is concluded that it is possible to significantly reduce the severity of head-on collisions between cars and trucks at significant closing speeds. Further work is being conducted to examine other collision modes and means of reducing the bulk of the truck bumper bar components
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