Vehicle Strength


In the past 20 years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has introduced additional safety tests with the most recent being the 25 percent frontal narrow offset test introduced in 2012. Even with this success, NHTSA continues to develop policy and regulatory changes not only for passenger safety, but for pedestrian safety. Late in 2015, NHTSA signaled a policy change to require automated braking to prevent pedestrian collisions. Additionally, new efforts for passenger injury reductions were announced. Steel is constantly meeting those needs with new grades of steel, while also avoiding increase in mass.

Figure 10 shows the various vehicle safety test standards with the year initiated, the source of the standard and the test speed or other performance criteria.

Figure 10. Vehicle Safety Test Standards with Speeds and Vehicle Orientation


AHSS continues to play a critical role in vehicles achieving safety performance in progressively more challenging tests and regulations. Steel has consistently delivered the most efficient designs for automakers to achieve their desired safety performance through energy absorption in the front and rear crumple zones using dual phase grades in critical components and intrusion prevention in the passenger compartment with martensitic grades.

AHSS clearly contributes to the effective crash energy management and occupant protection as demonstrated in the FutureSteelVehicle (FSV) – a WorldAutoSteel project on mass reduction in a steel-intensive vehicle with multiple powertrain designs. This example, shown in Figure 11, shows 5-star crash simulations for front, rear, side and roll over vehicle impacts. This vehicle engineering study is one of many examples of top crash performances using steel with the extra benefit of a lightweight design. This project demonstrates how crash load path geometry can be part of the full steel structure optimization process.

Figure 11.  FSV 5-Star Crash Simulations for Side, Rear and Front Load Paths Made Possible Lightweight AHSS Design

Table of Contents | Introduction | Fuel Economy and Emissions | Vehicle Strength | Additional Steel Industry Solutions | Future Steel Solutions | Primary Strategic Areas | Steel Bar Products | Download the full PDF