Switchable crash absorber
Crash absorbers for cars are meant to limit the damage to the car and to protect pedestrians from injury. Typically, crash absorbers can only be optimized for one of the two functions. This newly developed absorber, however, can be adjusted to specific impact situations based on informations provided by the car's sensors.
The first element of the car's crash management system is typically an easily deformable element which offers very limited resistance, thus protecting pedestrians possibly involved in an accident. Unfortunately, this element increases the necessary installation space and offers very limited protection to the car if cashed into a solid obstacle. Thus, the damage inflicted in accidents where no pedestrians are involved is higher than necessary.
Fig.1: Switchable crash absorber consisting of four rods connected through joints (1-4 upper right). The absorber can discreetly be placed behind the car's bumper (left) and can, in case of a hard collision, transmit the impact force into the car's support structure (left and bottom right). (Source: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bachem)
The newly developed switchable crash absorber can offer the best protection for both situations. It consists of 3-4 rods which are connected through joints, and can discreetly be placed behind the car's bumper (Fig.1).
First tests and simulations have been successfully performed.
Applicant: Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences – Hochschule Braunschweig/Wolfenbüttel