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Homework Help: Research:physics behind car crumple zones

  1. Mar 6, 2005 #1
    I'm doing a research essay on the physics behind car crumple zones,

    I just need a little bit of assistance in what it involves, i've looked at impulse and workdone and understand how the c.zone works in trying to minimalise these. What i don't understand is how these forces(if thats what they are)actually affect and injure the passengers inside the car.

    Any assistance would be great, also if theres any aspects I'm not looking at I'd be very grateful for advice.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2005 #2


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    The crumble zone in a car increases the time over which the decelerations are applied to the passenger compartment. For a given initial momentum, the applied forces (decelerations) are greater, the shorter the time. The crumple zone dissipates the energy in a collision, rather than the passenger.

    The crumple zone are composed of ductile materials, e.g. HSLA steels and plastics. The majority of the structure is steel with a large plastic range (large strain without failure).

    Injury of a passenger occurs if the passenger strikes a hard surface in the passenger compartment, e.g. steering wheel, dashboard, or door, roof, or other part of car frame. In addition to fractured bones, and blunt trauma, internal organs and blood vessels can tear if they experience too high an acceleration.
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