Toray Industries Inc announced that it is developing a crush box made of plastic at Toray Advanced Materials Symposium 2016, a private show that took place in early October 2016 in Tokyo.
The company defines it as a material that reinforces a metal crush box used for a front bumper. For the material for the plastic crush box, the "Nano-alloy Technology" was used.
"We are developing the plastic crush box in consideration of auto safety standards that are becoming stricter across the globe," Toray said. "Especially, safety standards for small overlap collisions on one-fourth of the front side of a car are becoming stricter."
IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety), which carries out vehicle assessment in the US, and other organizations have already employed small overlap collision tests. The assessment is targeted only at the side of the driver, but IIHS is considering assessing the side of the front passenger, too.
To make a vehicle resistant to collisions, there is a method of improving body strength. But there is also a major trend of reducing vehicle weight to improve fuel efficiency. When plastic is used as a shock-absorbing material, it enables to reduce vehicle weight.
A plastic using the same technology has been employed as a shock-absorbing material for the rear doors of Toyota Motor Corp's "Corolla" and "Auris." Toray plans to enhance the shock-absorbing performance of the plastic part by improving its shape in the aim of using it as a material to reinforce a metal crush box.