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Weight Reduction with Plastic Foam for Structural Components of Vehicle

Article of Honda R&D Technical Review Vol.14 No.1


Focusing on absorbing energy in the side frames of a vehicle as compressive deformation occurs during a frontal impact, increased energy absorptance and weight reduction of the structural components of a body do occur by filling them with urethane foam. It was found that it is possible to achieve approximately 30% weight reduction by filling urethane foam and modifying cross-section structures while insuring flexural rigidity and absorbed energy equal to that of body frames. At the same time efforts were also made to construct CAE technology that enables investigation into a lightweight body frame structure filled with plastic foam. The difference in absorbed energy between CAE simulations and tests with an actual hybrid frame unit consisting of aluminum piping (shell element) filled with urethane foam (solid element) was approximately 10% while under 50% compressive deformation or more.


(1) Ishida, K., Fukahori, M., Hanakawa, K., Tanaka, H., Matsuda, K.: Development of a Technique to Strengthen Body Frame with Structural Foam, Society of Automotive Engineers of Japan, Inc., Proceedings of the Spring Convention, No. 7, p. 21–24 (2000)
(2) Imai, Y.: Polyurethane Foam, Chapter 8 Rigid Polyurethane Foam, Kyoto, Koubunshikankoukai Corp, p. 79–91 (1987)
(3) Jamil M.Alwan, Chi-Chin Wu, Clifford C.Chou: Effect of Polyurethane Foam on the Energy Management of Structural Components, SAE Paper 2000-01-0052

Author (organization or company)

Yasushi TOSHIMITSU(Tochigi R&D Center)、Akifumi SONODA(PSG Inc.)

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