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New design of car pillars for improved passenger safety

A high proportion of fatalities occurring in car crashes are caused by head impacts in the vehicle interior. One of the main aims in car design, therefore, is to minimise cerebral damage to passengers in a crash situation.

As a result of research presented at AutoPolymers2005, a new internal pillar design, the triplet rib, is being patented. This novel ribbed design will maximise energy absorption, thus reducing cerebral damage and injuries.

Several applications have already been envisaged, including door panels and roofs, which work as energy absorbers protecting the car passengers. The design is being developed by CIE-Plasfil, a Portuguese plastics transformer based in Figueira da Foz.

AutoPolymers2005 was a collaboration between the University of Minho, Portugal and Clemson University, South Carolina, presenting research from scientists and industrialists on the integration of polymeric systems and fabrication processes into components for the automotive industry.

The papers were published in the September special issue of leading journal Plastics, Rubbers and Composites, published by Maney Publishing on behalf of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

Alison Holgate | alfa
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