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It is 3am and you are on the scene of a MVA with a single occupant trapped in a late model Subaru that has the passenger side of the vehicle resting against the right shoulder wall. Your rescue company makes quick work of stabilizing the vehicle and negating any hazards. The windshield is removed and a firefighter positions the hydraulic cutters at the top of the B-Pillar to make the first cut. What are some signs that you should be looking for as the cutter starts the cut? If your cutters encounter Boron or other UHSS that cannot be cut, watch out for the blades to spread apart as the tool stalls out. The moment you notice the blades start to separate, stop cutting and reposition the cutters on a different area of the B-Pillar. Many late model vehicles use tailored blanks to stamp out sheet metal parts. A tailored blank has varying thicknesses throughout the entire part. So you could easily go from a thickness of 1.8MM to 1.0MM within a few inches. Just remember, if your cutters stalled on a thick part it may still cut through a different part of the Pillar.
If you have searched the internet looking for extrication information and techinques to deal with Boron and other UHSS than you have most likely ran across Randy Schmitz. Randy has written a great deal of information. Just take a look at his atricle on Trunk Tunnelling as a solution to work around the new metals.
When we discuss the structural weak point in the vehicle, one area is the “rear trunk deck” or “rear bulk head”. This thin sheet metal structure that separates the passenger compartment from the trunk area has been virtually unchanged for many years. We can use this weak point to our advantage and make short work of what would normally take longer to accomplish had we chosen the typical roof removal method.
The 2009 and 2010 Ford F150 has been covered several times before on this site. Whenever I find some good images of the Boron and UHSS used in the F150 body structure I will post it. The safety cage in the 2010 F-150 made with hydroformed high-strength steel. There are continuous tubes that run from the A-pillar base through the roof rail to which forms the safety cage. The image below shows the the dual hydroformed front tubes.
Below are a couple of 2010 Ford Taurus pictures of the UHSS and Boron steel used. The red is the UHSS and Boron. The B-Pillar is made with Boron. My department ran on an MVA with a new 2010 Taurus and our Hurst MOC II Cutters made easy work cutting thru the B-Pillar.