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Full Frontal Impact Comparison of Steel and Carbon Fiber Composite Front Bumper Crush Can (FBCC) Structures

[+] Author Affiliations
Y. Dixit, P. Begeman, G. Newaz

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

D. Board, O. Faruque

Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, MI

Y. Chen

Optimal CAE, Inc., Plymouth, MI

Paper No. IMECE2018-87110, pp. V009T12A013; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 9: Mechanics of Solids, Structures, and Fluids
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5214-9
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


This study compares the deformation characteristics of steel and carbon fiber composite (CFC) front bumper crush can (FBCC) assemblies when subjected to a full-overlap frontal impact into a rigid wall. Both the steel and composite bumper tests were conducted using a sled-on-sled testing method. Several high-speed cameras (HSCs) and accelerometers were used to gather kinematics data. The applied forces were measured using a load cell wall. For each test, the collective set of data was filtered, sorted, and analyzed to compare the performance of the steel and CFC bumpers.

Similarities in Acceleration-Time plots suggested resemblance in the deformation patterns for both types of bumper systems. The difference observed in the velocity and displacement time-histories was because of the brittle nature of the composite material. The velocity-time history of the CFC FBCC had two distinct patterns, events suggesting adhesive bond failure between the bumper beam and the crush cans, which was validated through video tracking. Post-impact photographs showed a clear difference between the material behavior of composite and steel bumpers when subjected to high-velocity impact. The steel bumper beam was bent uniformly with intact, equally crushed crush cans. The composite beam was cracked in the middle and was detached from the crush cans.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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