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Evaluation of the Performance and Testing Techniques of Vehicle Frontal Protection Systems

Bignell, Paul (2004) Evaluation of the Performance and Testing Techniques of Vehicle Frontal Protection Systems. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Frontal Protection Systems (FPS) have become a popular accessory for passenger vehicles. They are used to protect the front of a vehicle during minor impacts, and to attenuate the impact energy during major impacts. With the increased safety of modern passenger vehicles, the fitment of a FPS to a vehicle requires careful consideration to the design and installation of the FPS as they may modify vehicle crush characteristics. This is particularly important in vehicles fitted with air bags. These community and industry concerns triggered the research discussed in this thesis, which is the first comprehensive project undertaken in this particular area.

This project generated comprehensive research knowledge on the impact response and energy absorption of FPS in order to evaluate performance. This involved a range of experimental testing supplemented by finite element analysis. Experimental testing was conducted using quasi-static and dynamic techniques to assess the overall performance of current FPS available. Finite element models were then generated and analysed using both implicit and explicit techniques, and calibrated against the experimental testing results. These models were used throughout the project to assess the FPS response, in particular the energy absorbed, to changes in impact characteristics.

FPS assessment guidelines were developed from the knowledge generated from the numerous FPS tests and analyses carried out in this research project. These guidelines have been used in the design and evaluation of a number of FPS for airbag compatibility. The real life performance of vehicles fitted with these FPS, have given confidence to the assessment criteria developed in this research project.

This project has demonstrated that FPS can be designed to complement the safety systems of modern passenger vehicles, and thus passenger safety. This would not have been possible without the comprehensive research carried out in this project.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 15894
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Thambiratnam, David& Bullen, Frank
Keywords: Frontal Protection Systems, Bull bars, Impacts, Energy absorbed, Air bags, Quasistatic testing, Dynamic testing, Finite Element Analysis
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Department: Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Paul Bignell
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 13:52
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2011 05:40

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