Making Car Crashes Look Better
Experts say that, in the event of a car collision, the more deformed a car’s front end and bumper are, the better are the chances of people inside escaping unscathed. It only means that the front end components of your car absorbed all the impact of the collision, protecting you and your passengers inside. Did you know that the automotive industry have since been working – designing, manufacturing, analyzing, and testing – to make collisions look better in order to shield passengers from harm?
A team of researchers from SIMLab of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, financed by the Research Council of Norway, are designing aluminium, steel and plastic structures that can withstand high-energy collisions.
They say they don’t know much about cars, but are experts on materials, aluminum and its properties especially. Hence, Audi, Toyota, BMW, Honda and Renault are working closely with them. SIMLab partners with the automotive industry that heavily depends on computers, making accurate models of materials used in cars and how they behave under stress.
SIMLab has tested all sorts of materials for cars. They’ve designed bumpers, bolts in guard rails, among other car parts, using materials they know behave in a certain way when stressed. They also determine the best shape if the material is different because it is the shape that responds in the right way when compressed. Similar shapes made of different materials may have different properties.
The lab also tests their designs in simulation compressions, from slow and calculated to that of a collision at different speeds. They understand the physics of crash science, making versatile models that the auto industry can use, and testing them in the lab before public release.
Their research efforts are invaluable to automotive innovation. That is why they partner with related industries to get as much from different fields of expertise. However, with new funding, SIMLab is branching out into the oil and gas industry, and looking at how they can help in terrorism prevention.
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