Evaluation of Stiffness Matching Concepts for Vehicle Safety Improvement

The concept of ‘stiffness mismatch’ between front structures of colliding vehicles has been viewed as one of the important factors in collision incompatibility in front-to-front crashes between vehicles of different size. Consequently, it has been hypothesized that ‘better matching’ of stiffness properties of the front structure of the colliding pair of vehicles may improve the safety of the occupants of the smaller vehicle in such crashes. However, since the front structures of automobiles are designed to meet the protection requirements for their occupants in various frontal impacts, any changes in these properties need to be evaluated for possible influence on all requirements of self-protection as well as of improved compatibility. This paper examines statistical data to estimate the portion of the vehicle front end that may be of significance in front-to-front collision compatibility. The structural properties of an LTV’s front structure were modified to reduce the force and energy levels during the front four hundred millimeters of its crush in order to bring its stiffness properties closer to that of a representative midsized car in the US fleet. Detailed studies were conducted for this modified LTV utilizing finite-element based simulations of frontal New Car Assessment program (NCAP) test as well as of frontal impact with a passenger car in a field-representative test configuration. Results of these studies show that changing the structural properties of the LTV to be closer to that of the passenger car may have negative consequences for the protection of the LTV occupants. Alternative scenarios for achieving the proper balance in vehicles’ structural properties to improve overall safety are proposed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 6p
  • Monograph Title: 20th International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01574673
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-0112
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 19 2015 1:23PM