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Thomas, Gareth
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Required Measures to Improve the Structural Interaction Potential of Passenger-Cars

Volkswagen AG-Robert Zobel, Thomas Schwarz
Volkswagen AG and RMIT University-Gareth Thomas
Published 2005-04-11 by SAE International in United States
Compatibility has been a passive safety research issue for many years. Great advancements in secondary (passive) safety have been achieved in the last decades through focussing on the self-protection level provided by passenger cars. The next step is to consider the other vehicle involved in the collision as well. Compatibility relates to the simultaneous improvement of both self- and partner- protection. Several tests procedures have been proposed around the world to assess the compatibility of passenger cars. None are considered ready to be implemented.This paper shows that controlling vehicle front-end geometry is the most feasible step to improve both self- and partner-protection. Through this, an increase in the structural interaction potential offered by passenger cars would result. To improve structural interaction, a convergence of front-end structures, to within certain vertical limits, is necessary. The required vertical width of a structural interaction zone is investigated in this paper, based on results to car-to-car, head-on crash-test simulations.Based on conclusions drawn from the car-to-car, head-on crash simulations, a new compatibility assessment method and a vertical width for a…
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Feasible Steps towards Improved Crash Compatibility

Volkswagen AG-Dietmar Haenchen, Thomas Schwarz, Gareth Thomas, Robert Zobel
Published 2004-03-08 by SAE International in United States
Compatibility has been a research issue for many years now. It has gained more importance recently due to significant improvements in primary and secondary safety. Using a rigorous approach, combining accident research and theoretical scientific considerations, measures to improve vehicle-vehicle compatibility, with an emphasis on feasibility, were discussed.German accident research statistics showed that frontal impacts are of higher statistical significance than side impacts. Based on this and the high potential for improvement due high available deformation energy, the frontal impact configuration was identified as the most appropriate collision mode for addressing the compatibility issue. In side impacts, accident avoidance was identified as the most feasible and sensible measure.For frontal vehicle-vehicle impacts, both trucks and passenger cars were identified as opponents of high statistical significance. Based on the bulkhead concept, a theoretical range of survivable collision velocities for both impact configurations was calculated and the limitations discussed. A pre-requisite in each case was structural interaction. Structural interaction was identified as necessary between all collision partners including car - truck. This means the addition of adequate under-run…
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