Two cars in a collision on asphaltA perfect collision should look awful.

The bumper of the car should be severely damaged. In an accident, the passengers inside the vehicle are safer when the bumper absorbs most of the shock from the collision. Cosmetic damage to the outside of the vehicle is not important. Instead, keeping people safe inside the vehicle is always important. The automobile industry works hard to mimic actual car accidents.

Research Hard at Work

A research team at the Norwegian University of Science designs aluminium, steel, plastic and other materials that can absorb the shock of a high impact collision. The team aims to protect passengers in high impact crashes, and their projects are funded by the Research Council of Norway. Members of the team are very knowledgeable of aluminum,and the automobile industry, and the automobile recycling industry depends on them to provide vehicle safety information.

Improvements in the automobile industry are dependent on technology. Accurate models are needed to show how cars perform under stressful conditions. The SIMLab helps automobile manufacturers achieve this task. SIMLab collaborates with many organizations. The shape of the aluminum bumper can be due to an outcome of a SIMLab’s model.

Automobile experts have concluded the shape of the metal determines how much stress the vehicle can absorb in a collision. If the car is made out of plastic or steel, manufacturers will need to reshape the bumper. If changes are not made, the bumper may not compress correctly in a car crash.

Different Materials

Plastic and steel have different properties, so the shape needs to be adjusted to meet safety standards. Manufacturers can accomplish this running several tests or by using a computer simulation to find the correct shape. A computer program can select the correct shape in a matter of hours.

Since 2007, SIMLab researchers have carried out tests on numerous materials. In the lab, researchers can see how various materials handle the stress of a collision. Researchers strive to understand the physics of the materials, and some materials require physical testing before researchers can decide on a conclusion. Laboratory testing is unique to the SIMLab organization.

The automobile research started eight years ago, and now the organization has received funding for a new research facility. The funding will allow researchers to work in the oil and gas industry.

Research in the automobile industry is the basis of innovation and new designs, and it is imperative to work with different industries. Collaborating with experts in different fields allows the team to learn new skills. The particles in aluminum are comparable to grains of sand on the beach. There are many things to understand about the fragile particles, and researchers are studying the atomic level to find the best way to keep people safe in a crash.