Title: Crashworthiness evaluation of composite vehicle side door with an innovative design

Authors: Giovanni Belingardi; Ji Jindong

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Turin, Italy ' Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Turin, Italy

Abstract: An alternative innovative solution for the front lateral door of vehicle is proposed, using the potentialities of composite materials. Starting from an already existing mild steel design, outer and inner panels of side door substructure are redesigned with composite material and an innovative composite reinforcing panel replaced the usual beam. Numerical models of composite material door are evaluated against the FMVSS214 'MDB side impact test'. Crashworthiness of composite door solution is also evaluated through biomechanical response of instrumented dummy by comparison with both traditional steel door solution and limit values stated in regulation. Results provide evidence that a properly designed composite door could have same performance as traditional steel one from the point of view of 'occupant protection' during car side crash impact, with a weight reduction around 7.0 kg, i.e. about 32% of the total mass of original reference door. This could be a great contribution to the expected reduction in weight of the vehicle, that is a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.

Keywords: biomechanical indexes; composite materials; crashworthiness evaluation; dummy response; FEA; finite element analysis; numerical simulation; FMVSS214 crash test; lateral intrusion; lightweight design; vehicle side doors; composites; modelling; side crash impact; weight reduction; vehicle design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2016.078092

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2016 Vol.2 No.1, pp.75 - 93

Received: 15 May 2015
Accepted: 03 Jul 2015

Published online: 01 Aug 2016 *

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