The development of a new low-speed impact test to improve bumper performance and compatibility

Many modern European bumper designs perform poorly at low speeds and do not protect vulnerable cosmetic components, leading to unnecessarily expensive repairs. This is often due to unstable contact properties and misalignment of vehicle structures, resulting in underride/override and 1.5 times higher repair costs. A crash test series using pairs of vehicles from the same manufacturer was implemented to investigate underride/override, and the detailed geometry for both the outer bumper cover and the underlying structures was recorded. The bumper beam and its geometry is a key feature in determining damage severity and its ability to protect vulnerable areas and keep structural areas aligned. In some vehicle pairings the bumpers' beam overlap was small, and override/underride tended to occur, resulting in the highest damage and repair costs. However, in pairings with deep bumper beam geometry and good alignment, the vehicles engaged correctly, with correspondingly lower repair costs. If manufacturers are encouraged to design deep bumper beams that align with other vehicles, then damage severity in low-speed crashes can be reduced by decreasing the risk of underride/override. This could have corresponding benefits to occupant protection in higher-speed crashes due to more predictable structural loadings. (A)


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01050751
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2007 12:04AM