This study presents experimental investigations of generic steel Front Bumper and Crush Can (FBCC) assemblies subjected to a 40% offset frontal impact. As automotive industries aim to reduce overall vehicle weight by applying lighter-weight materials to its structures, component-level studies become important. Computer aided models are valuable tools to complement physical testing by assessing the performances of these structures. Due to the lack of studies on component-level tests with FBCCs, a novel component-level test procedure would be useful to aid in CAE correlation. A sled-on-sled testing method was used to perform all the tests reported here. Impact speed was optimized such that there was no bottoming-out force for this type of test. Three high-speed cameras (HSCs), an infrared (IR) thermal camera, and several accelerometers were utilized to study impact performance of the FBCC structures.

The results showed that time histories of displacement and velocity from video tracking and accelerometers were in good agreement. The force-time history and force-displacement curves from different FBCC specimens were consistent and in good agreement with respect to each other with a low coefficient of variation calculated. Post-impact deformation pattern analysis of the samples showed consistent crush patterns. Heat was generated and dissipated at the tip of the crush can and progressed as the can started to fold.

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