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GE Moving to Improve Pedestrian Safety: XENOY Resin Helping to Re-Define Pedestrian Impact Protection Systems

GE Advanced Materials : 06 April, 2005  (New Product)
GE Advanced Materials, Automotive has developed new Pedestrian Impact Protection materials and design innovations to help automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers with the design of front-end safety systems.
In GEís new, front-end safety concept, energy absorbers moulded from the companyís XENOY resin are positioned directly behind the vehicleís fascia to help cushion possible impact. GE has developed the concept to help meet European Union (EU) pedestrian protection legislation due to come into effect in 2005.

The latest accident statistics show that each year in the EU an estimated 7,000 pedestrians are killed and several hundred thousand injured as a result of vehicle front-end impact. This has led the European Enhanced Vehicle Safety Committee (EEVC) to develop legislation to provide greater protection to pedestrians involved in automotive accidents. Other countries, including Japan, are considering similar legislation.

Although there is no similar legislation in the United States, vehicles designed and exported across the globe will need to meet EU legislation. The EEVC will require the automotive industry to test and monitor new vehicles to assess their pedestrian protection performance in 40 km/h (25mph) impacts.

Research shows that there are three main areas of the pedestrianís body most subject to injury from a moving vehicle: the head, pelvis and upper leg, and the knee and lower leg. These injuries are associated directly with specific areas of the car. Head injuries usually result from contact with the hood top and A-pillars; pelvis and upper leg injuries from impact with hood top and fender; and knee and lower leg damage generally results from contact with the bumper. The European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP) has conducted a series of tests in accordance with EEVC guidelines and found that most mainstream cars manufactured in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific, which are available in Europe, fail to adequately meet the criteria.

Tests conducted by the GE Advanced Materials engineering team have demonstrated that the front-end safety energy absorbers, moulded from XENOY resin, have the ability to manage energy sufficiently below the limits proposed by the EEVC, to help reduce deceleration, bending, and shear of the lower leg.

The XENOY resin-based energy absorber in GEís pedestrian impact protection concept also helped to contribute to sleeker styling, weight reduction, and potentially lower vehicle costs. It provided for easy assembly and, with technical support from GE Advanced Materialsí team of automotive specialists, helped shorten development time.

Moreover, GE Advanced Materialís global presence enables it to meet material availability and delivery continuity to satisfy a demanding manufacturing schedule.
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