The ever closer networking of electronic components and the desire for ever higher security and ever greater convenience are driving the market. The performance of the vehicle must also be taken into account and can help to satisfy customer needs. Innovative solutions can simultaneously increase vehicle safety, comfort and performance.
Lightweight designs help to maximize battery and crash performance. The materials used must be perfectly matched and be able to withstand the daily stresses and strains of road traffic.
The perfect combination
The Mobility Alliance constitutes the perfect fit between Henkel’s expertise in advanced materials, high performance adhesives and sealants, and RLE International’s technologically sophisticated engineering know-how in vehicle component development and design. Our shared expertise will encompass advanced simulation capabilities of full vehicle crash behavior to improve passenger safety, plus component design to improve vehicle performance.
Improved crash behavior
Henkel and RLE International investigated the potential of structural foam sections for reducing the weight of the rocker while ensuring adequate battery protection in an iterative simulation process. The goal was to find the perfect balance between deformation and stiffness.
On the one hand, the crash energy needs to be absorbed by deformation of the rocker parts. On the other hand, the parts must be stiff enough to direct the energy from the side impact into the seat cross members.
The study showed that the structure could be significantly improved by intelligent component geometry, with ribs or locally thicker wall sections designed to stiffen specific areas in the rocker more than others.
Moreover, the hybrid structural design also showed a 20 percent better crash behavior when compared to a honeycomb alternative (Fig. 1). Altogether, the iterative process for the hybrid structural rocker design took about six weeks, which can be considered the typical time for parts of this complexity, including all simulation loops.