In this paper, a subframe type fuel tank module was proposed and evaluated to increase the vehicle safety and the design flexibility against rear crash of automotive vehicles. In order to minimize the deformation of the fuel tank during rear crash, crash simulations and optimization of design parameters associated with the subframe type fuel tank module were carried out using the robust design method. A rear crash test was conducted with a midsize passenger car, and the measured deformations of the fuel tank showed an excellent agreement with the simulation. It was also found that the optimized design of the subframe type fuel tank reduced the deformation of the fuel tank up to a maximum of 27.5 times, compared with the deformation in the conventional design. The proposed design of fuel tank not only provides the design flexibility but fulfills the requirements of the revised Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Sec. 301.

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