Adaptive vehicle restraint system

Development of an adaptive vehicle restraint system for the special protection of small occupants using a steering column with adjustable energy absorption

[Translate to Englisch:] Grafik eines Crashtests
Photo: Felix C. Bentgens

In the event of a crash, seat belts, airbag systems and steering columns in today's vehicles absorb the kinetic energy of occupants in frontal crashes. Most steering columns are equipped with a deformation device that allows limited forward movement of the steering wheel in the event of a dynamic impact by the occupant. Since these devices deform at predefined force levels, the energy absorption cannot be adjusted to the mass of the occupant, such as in the case of a smaller occupant impact. Thus, especially for small occupants, the maximum available forward displacement is not utilized, causing them to decelerate harder than necessary.
Student researchers from Trier University of Applied Sciences, Germany, and the Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science, India, launched a joint research program with support from the DAAD and investigated a solution to provide maximum forward displacement for occupants of all sizes. This solution could significantly improve vehicle safety in both Western markets with average-sized people (correlated to the 50%ile dummy) and Asian markets with an average-sized population (correlated to the 5%ile dummy).

In current legislation, safety systems such as the steering column only need to be validated in tests with 50%ile Hybrid III dummies. A component simulation modelwith a standard restraint system was built using HyperMesh and LS-Dyna to investigate kinematics and injury patterns for all available dummy sizes (5-50-95%ile). A damping device was developed for the steering column to allow adaptive force levels using magnetorheological fluids.

Consortium Trier University of Applied Sciences, Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science (Chennai, India)
Duration March 2019 - February 2023
Funded by German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) in the program "A New Passage to India - German-Indian University Cooperation
Funding amount 491.694,57 €

Project management at Trier University of Applied Sciences:

Prof. Dr. Peter König
Prof. Dr. Peter König
Professor FB Technik - FR Maschinenbau


Schneidershof | Building A | Room 101
Felix Bentgens, M.Eng.
Doktorand FB Technik
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