Innovative car bonnet could reduce injuries by 60%

Impact absorption specialist Cellbond has partnered with researchers at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge to develop a 'pedestrian friendly' car bonnet aimed at reducing the number of fatalities and injuries caused by car accidents.

The design, which is now being assessed by a number of leading motor manufacturers, makes use of an aluminium mechanical energy absorber etched into a grid format. Upon impact, this collapses inwards, absorbing the impact energy with less resultant reaction forces.

"During an impact the pedestrian exerts a dynamic force on the car bonnet," said Professor Hassan Shirvani, director of Anglia Ruskin University's Engineering Simulation Analysis and Tribology Group. "If the kinetic energy of the impact is not absorbed the bonnet exerts an equal amount of the force that impacts it, causing injury to the body."

According to Prof Shirvani, the majority of car test standards and protocols use the 'Head Impact Criteria' to measure the severity of such impact on human heads and restrict the criterion to certain numbers. "The Cellbond car bonnet design has been tested and verified in a EuroNCAP certified test house," he continued. "Test results show that this design reduces the 'Head Impact Criteria' by 50-60%, hence the energy is absorbed in the collapsing structure."

Laura Hopperton

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