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Friday, 12 July 2019 20:13

Truck Topics: Hey Buddy … Got a Millisecond?

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Index

 

Five Milliseconds

 

The truck’s body structure is already absorbing and managing crash energy. Each section area within the cab has a specific function in the event of a collision to channel the impact energy around the occupants.

 

Ten Milliseconds

 

The front bumper is fully collapsed and crash forces are being channeled through upper and lower members and body panels. Panels are designed to collapse to a certain point to not only absorb the energy, but to keep the occupants from becoming trapped inside. This is also called “Controlled Deceleration.” Starting in January 1965, Ford Motor Company crashed over 175 cars into a concrete barrier at 30 mph. The reason, to build a vehicle frame and structural parts that deform in a uniform manner upon impact to absorb the energy and mitigate cabin deformation, thereby saving the car’s occupants. The culmination of this testing would be introduced in all 1968 model Ford cars with what was being called a “Controlled Crush” front end. Other car and truck makers would follow.

 

15 Milliseconds

 

The engine has been contacted and the subframe is being deformed. Different strengths of metal are used in the truck’s construction to either “break away” or transfer collision energy to other parts of the truck. (Before the days of “Controlled Deceleration” the engine may have penetrated the cab at this point injuring the driver.)

 

20 Milliseconds

 

The structure forward of the engine is now fully deformed and the crash energy is being channeled into the roof rails, rocker and rear portion of the engine subframe.

 

30 Milliseconds

 

The cab continues to deform. Crush-zones crumple and redirect the crash energy around the truck’s occupants. (Crush Zones can be seen as dimples, slots drilled in body parts or different types and thicknesses of metals. Ribs or stamped areas across the width of a part are also called convolutions and designed to aid in a Controlled Deceleration event.) In a repair bulletin, Volvo notes, “The cab frame and body panels form a cage that protects the driver and passenger. The cab exceeds protection safety standards in case of collisions or rollovers. Unlike conventional cab structures, where a load carrying frame supports the outer body panels, both the VN and VHD cab frame and body panels are designed to be part of the load carrying structure.”


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