Method of improving impact absorbing and deformation control characteristics of vehicle components

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A crush rail or other structural member of a vehicle is provided with crush triggers. The crush triggers are formed by heating localized areas of the crush rail or other part and allowing them to cool slowly to provide increased ductility and reduced strength in a localized region. The crush rail is designed to collapse in a series of convolutions in a regular and repeated pattern. Crush triggers may be provided on body pillars, steering columns, drive shafts, engine support cradles, and other parts of a vehicle. A plurality of crush triggers may be provided on a single structural member depending upon impact absorption requirements.

Publisher's Statement

Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, Llc

Patent Number: 6,820,924

Publication Title

United States Patent