A crash absorber protects the EV battery from side impacts by absorbing kinetic energy in the side sills between the wheel-arches at the bottom of the vehicle’s body. Space is valuable, so this structure needs to be as slim as possible to make room for the battery.
While the side sills are typically made from steel or aluminum structures and inserts, we saw the opportunity for an alternative material: PC+PBT thermoplastic blend. We developed a thermoplastic crash absorber based on our Makroblend® polycarbonate blend to demonstrate how the shift toward thermoplastics is powering a new approach to crash absorber applications by:
• Protecting cells, pack and cabin against side impacts
• Integrating with the electrophoretic painting process (e-coat)
• Facilitating vehicle mounting
• Relying on advanced CAE analyses and validation
• Maximizing energy absorption per weight
• Achieving desired force-displacement pattern
• Relying on new Makroblend® PC+PBT blend resins under development
Turning to thermoplastic for enhanced crash absorbers
When compared to metal crash absorbers, those made of thermoplastic give designers and engineers more flexibility and are a more cost-effective alternative. Additionally, using a polycarbonate blend instead of aluminum significantly improves the CO2 footprint during part production.
Our Makroblend®-based crash absorber lays the foundation for further developments. Recognizing the advantages thermoplastic offers, more and more OEMs across the globe are now exploring these alternatives.