Design and Development of a Composite A-pillar

Paper #:
  • 2017-01-0501

Published:
  • 2017-03-28
Abstract:
In modern passenger vehicles, A-pillar plays an important role in its passive safety by minimizing the deformation of passenger compartment during the crash. To achieve various crash requirements, as well as sometimes due to demand of vehicle styling, A-pillar cross section of modern vehicles is generally wider. This wider cross section acts as an increased obstruction to field of vision of the driver and is considered detrimental for the safety of the road users. The current work proposes an innovative design solution to reduce the obstruction due to an A-pillar by reducing the obstruction angle along with addressing the weight problem. This is done by utilizing the noble properties of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP). Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP) offer flexibility for complex design, as well as have high specific strength and stiffness which makes them a suitable candidate for the design considerations presented in this study. High specific properties also present additional advantages of vehicle light weight body design, which contribute in reduced emissions and better fuel efficiency. Proposed design was analyzed and optimized to meet the stiffness and strength requirements, as well as to further reduce the weight and cost compared to the existing A-pillars being used. Exploiting the advantages of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP), the results show good agreement with the stated requirements of reducing the obstruction angle and also the light weight design of the A-pillar.
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