The regulation ECE-R 93 defines the rigid front underride guard as a minimum requirement for commercial vehicles to prevent cars from underriding in frontal crashes. It is evident that the benefit of such protective devices can be substantially improved by an energy-absorbing design. In fact it leads to lower loads for the driver and passenger in the case of a frontal accident between a car and a commercial vehicle. The measured dummy loads should indicate “green manikins” corresponding to EURO NCAP frontal rating test at a closing velocity of 64 kph.
Against this background, the effect of the energyabsorbing front underride guard of a MAN TG-A series was analyzed with two full scale tests. In both tests a Volkswagen Golf IV impacted with 70 % frontal overlap at a speed of 42 to 43 kph against the truck driving at a speed of 21 kph. While absorbing energy, the front underride protection of the MAN and the front structure of the Golf performed well. The compartment of the Golf remained intact without any severe intrusions. As expected the dummy responses in the MAN were extremely low. The dummy responses for the Golf occupants didn’t exceed their corresponding biomechanical limits. These results show the protection benefit of an energy-absorbing front underride guard (which is in production now) for impacts on state-of-the-art cars (medium sized, so called “compact class”).
The presentation gives additional information for real world accidents regarding truck/car impacts, accident reconstruction, historical development of front and rear underride guards for heavy trucks and a future prospects preview.
In the near future an energy absorbing rear underride protection will be on focus. Numerical simulations of such a protection device show the possible benefit on a significant higher level than for the front underride guard.