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Lightweight plastic fibers can have added strength but enough ‘give ’ to enhance pedestrian safety plastics autos Lightweight plastic fibers can have added strength but enough ‘give ’ to enhance pedestrian safety With pedestrian safety measures growing increasingly strict, pedestrian safety components are currently being developed for vehicle application. 1 Self-reinforced plastic (polypropylene) is a new engineering process that has been created for use in vehicle hoods to help protect pedestrians in the event of an accident. Though small in size, lightweight and energy absorbent self-reinforced plastic panels are placed strategically where a pedestrian’s head might strike the hood of a moving vehicle to help cushion the head and prevent serious injury. 2,3 Self-reinforced plastic is created by heating and weaving plastic to stretch and align the molecular chains, making the end product is much stronger than conventional plastic, but without any weight gain. 4,5 Engineers performed static deflection tests on a self-reinforced plastic prototype, which withstood the required force load, yet produced greater deflection. 6 This improved deflection indicates that the panel can provide strength on impact, but enough “give” to offer additional protection to pedestrians

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.183.3604
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