Design and analysis of a composite beam for side impact protection of a sedan

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Basavaraju, Divakara H.
Lankarani, Hamid M.
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Side Impact crashes can be generally dangerous because there is no room for large deformation to protect an occupant from the crash forces. The side impact collision is the second largest cause of death in United States after frontal crash. Day by day increase in the fuel cost and the emission of the smoke from the automobile industry are also the major concerns in the contemporary world, hence the safety, fuel efficiency and emission gas regulation of the passenger cars are important issues in contemporary world. The best way to increase the fuel efficiency without sacrificing the safety is to employ composite materials in the body of the cars because the composite materials have higher specific strength than those of steel. Increase in the usage of composite material directly influences the decrease in the total weight of car and gas emission. In this research, Carbon/Epoxy AS4/3051 -6 is used as material for side impact beam which has adequate load carrying capacities and that it absorbs more strain energy than steel. The Finite Element models of a Ford Taurus car and the Moving Deformable barrier (MDB) as developed by National Crash Analysis Center (NCAC) have been utilized for the analysis in this thesis. The current side impact beam is removed from the car and the new beam which is developed using CATIA and MSC.Patran is merged on to the driver side of the front door of the car model. The total energy absorption of the new beam with steel and composite material is compared with the current beam. The intrusion of the beam is evaluated by using FMVSS 214 and IIHS side impact safety methods. The new impact beam with composite has high impact energy absorption capability when compared to current beam and new beam with steel, with 65% reduction in weight.

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Thesis (M.S.)--Wichita State University, College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
"December 2005."
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