The front structure is made from aluminium die castings, extrusions and pressings. The passenger compartment is made from steel, including roll-formed boron steel in critical load path areas. The roof panel and all of the closures are aluminium.
The body consists of 50% light alloy in combination with high- and ultra-high strength steels. We have achieved maximum crash safety and outstanding body rigidity for the best noise and vibration comfort.”
The 2013 Ford Fusion uses hydroformed steel tubes for its B-pillars and a hydroformed A-pillar roof rail. So why is this important to us? Using hydroforming instead of hot-stamped welded sheet to create the car’s roof-pillar structure reduced mass, saved cost, reduced the bill of material (which is the number of parts welded together to make the B-pillar), and helped improve the new Fusion’s crash performance. The hydroformed steel tubes replaced hot-stamped parts. B-pillars are a common place to find hot-stamped boron and the hydroformed steel tubes are replacing it in the 2013 Fusion.
Take a close look at the two images below of the body structure of the previous design and the new hydroformed design. Notice that the previous design used boron steel and the new hydroformed design does not. I’m going to try to work some magic and see if I can get my hands on a 2013 Fusion but since it is new it might take a little time before showing up in scrap yards.
The 2013 Ford Focus is packed full of boron and other ultra-high strength steels. But, let’s take a look at the B-pillar and the material it is made from. The B-pillar is made from tailored rolled steel blanks that allow parts to have different thicknesses through one part. The important nugget to take away from this is if a cutter ever stalls during a cut, simply moving the tool up or down an inch or two can allow the cut to be successful.
Colors indicate eight different thicknesses in the B-pillar post of the forthcoming Ford Focus. The right-hand color strip starts with the thinnest sections at the bottom (four shades of blue), rising to two shades of green and then one each of yellow and orange (thickest at 2.7 mm). The eight thicknesses on the Focus B-pillar range from a maximum of 2.7 mm (0.1 in) to as thin as 1.35 mm (0.05 in). The engineering of the shape puts the greatest thicknesses where they are needed for maximum strength in side impacts, and in the case of the B-pillar it’s just above the midpoint (orange area in illustration).
Here is a quick look at the 2013 Volvo C70. The doors and B-pillars have been reinforced in various ways. In a side impact the doors and B-pillars work together with the reinforced sills and a comprehensive system of cross-members and bulkheads to absorb the collision forces.
The C70 retractable hardtop also features a roll over protection structure (ROPS) with two pyrotechnically charged roll hoops hidden behind the rear seats that deploy under roll-over conditions whether the roof is retracted or not.
Take a look the screen shot from Moditech’s Crash Recovery System. Notice that the B-pillars don’t show any advanced or reinforced steel? Just remember, most convertibles have a very large B-pillar structure behind the sheet metal.
Below are the advanced steel PowerPoints I presented at the Train the Trainer in Ann Arbor Michigan. Feel free to use, share, and change it fit your departments needs. Also, please let me know of anything you think should change.
The all-new architecture incorporates a new design that not only improves distortion rigidity by 16 percent, it also incorporates a 30-percent increase in the use of ultra high-strength-tensile steel to improve collision energy management. High-strength steel also allows the suspension to work optimally and reduces weight. Ultra-high strength tensile sheet metal has also been applied to the outer door panels for the first time in the company’s history. In addition, anti-corrosion steel was applied to 70 percent of outer frame and floor structure.
New hot stamping and roll forming methods have also been applied to impact members, which provide added strength, reduces the number of body parts and makes the architecture lighter. The amount of structural adhesives has also been increased significantly for improved body rigidity, crashworthiness and durability.
The very fine folks at Moditech annouced in their latest newsltter that the Crash Recovery System for Android will be availible in April! The availability of the Crash Recovery System for different hardware platforms is a declared objective of Moditech Rescue Solutions B.V. This allows our users maximum flexibility in selection of the necessary hardware. Among the CRS editions for different versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system and the Apps for the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad the Crash Recovery System family will soon become two additional members.
Currently, two apps for devices with the operating system Android are in the works. CRS Lite for Android will be specifically designed for users of Android smartphones and will have similar functions as the CRS Lite Edition and iCRS Lite for iPhone. For users of Android Tablet PCs the App CRS Standard for Android is under development, covering similar functions as the CRS and iCRS Standard Editions, joining the vehicle graphics with extensive illustrated background and deactivation information.
Toyota used the image below to simply explain how an impact absorbing body and a high strength cabin protects occupants. Just remember, the toughest still will be in the cabin area but can extend into the impact absorbing area too. Never assume your cutters cannot cut any part of the vehicle, if your cutters stall, go to plan b. Plan B can be as simple as repositioning the tool.
In order to help reduce the impact on the occupants during a collision and reduce cabin deformation, crumple zones at the front and rear of the vehicle absorb the impact with high efficiency. The cabin uses a body structure that is strong and does not deform easily. To help protect occupants during side collisions, where little crumple zone is available, a high-strength body frame, including the center pillar and the floor cross member, absorbs the impact with decreased deformation.
Well the West Coast Extrication trip is over, all that is left to get on the plane and head home back to Detroit. The bad part is it was almost 80 degrees today in Redwood and it snowed in Detroit last night. The plan is to break down the trip into a 3 part post. Brock Archer from AdvancedExtrication.com hooked me with a great exposure to West Coast Extrication. Which is not different from everyone else except they get to train in warm weather in February!
The first will be the classroom portion that Ron Moore from Firehouse Magazine presented. The second will be the school bus extrication with the scrap yard workers showing how fast they can rip apart a bus. The final part will be a rundown of the extrication techniques and evolutions covered over the two days of hands on training.
Check out this FIREGROUND Flash Tip episode, Chief Wylie compares using different hydraulic cutters to cut through the boron treated steel found on many of today’s automobiles. Chief Wylie even plugs our friends over at Extraction Zones LLC!!
Just remember, if your tool is outgunned during a cut, go to plan B! Plan B can be as simple as moving the tool up or down a few inches. Remember my post about tailored blanks? If you are asking what’s a tailored blank? Give it a quick read, then add that little nugget of info into your mental tool box!
The body structure of the all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic sedan and hatchback. Nearly 60 percent of the body structure, as well as the four-mount hydro-formed engine cradle, use high-strength steel. Ultra-high-strength steel is strategically integrated in the forward portion of the rockers and the center cross bar.
The all-new 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is the only vehicle in its class with 10 standard airbags. . The Sonic features dual-stage airbags for the driver and the front passenger and roof-rail mounted head curtain airbags and seat mounted side-impact airbags for front and outboard rear seat passengers as standard. A driver knee air bag and a segment-exclusive front passenger knee air bag are included to reduce injury to lower extremities.
One day after I posted about an app for the iPhone and iPad called Extraction Zones I ran across a rescue website that can be used on any Smartphone connected to the Internet. Another European automaker, Opel, stepped up to the plate and put an extremely useful rescue tool in the hands of many first responders for free! Opel put Rescue Cards that contain information for some 60 models from 1991 to present on a mobile portal that can be used on any Smartphone which has access to the Internet. This free mobile service is available in 10 European languages and enables rescue crews to access important information instantly.
The mobile rescue card portal will be used primarily by the fire department and first response crews. Via www.opel-rescuecard.com they can choose their own language and run a search for any Opel model. By placing the information on the Internet, rescue crews can be assured they are receiving the latest, most up-to-date news. Thanks to the built-in page optimization, the mobile rescue card portal automatically adapts to every standard smartphone model. The zoom function ensures that single parts and body sections can easily be seen on a small display.
If you don’t have a Smartphone, don’t worry, the rescue cards are still downloadable as PDF-files via the Internet.
Rescue Cards use the common key to show the different hazards in vehicles. The key is very similar to the one Moditech uses in their Crash Recovery System. Interesting…..maybe the Moditech Pioneers had a hand in developing the Rescue Cards for Opel.
Hurst….. Well every major extrication tool manufacturer had a great display of tools set up at FDIC. Hurst had a 2011 Ford Fiesta in a plexi-glass box where factory reps cut it to pieces in front of visitors at their booth. There was also a stack of Boron B-pillars that I would have loved to sneak out the back. There was also an outside demo area by Lucas Oil Stadium where conference attendees could put on some PPE and make some cuts on a car. Best part of the outside demo on Friday was Hurst had a bar set up next to the display!
What a great year 2010 was! For the first time in a long time the automotive industry started adding jobs here in Detroit! Hopefully, with more people getting back to work the budget cuts in public safety budgets can finally start to slow down, if not end!
As for BoronExtrication.com, I started this blog to help spread around information about the advanced steels used in the body structure of new vehicles. Back in January, I would have never guessed how much traffic to my blog would increase! Also, becoming part of the FireEMSBlogs.com family was huge honor and a great step to gain a larger readership.
One cool thing about writing this blog is all the contacts and people I get to meet in the Fire Service. First off, in May I went to a trauma synopsis at local community college that Ron Moore from Firehouse.com and University or Extrication was presenting at. To my shock, Ron knew who I was when I went up to meet him.
Dave Dalrymple and his crew from RoadwayRescue LLC
Another gentleman I met was Dave Dalrymple and his crew from RoadwayRescue LLC at a DVD filming for Fire Engineering in Dearborn, Michigan. Extrication is not limited to the US. From Canada there is Randy Schmitz from the Calgary Fire Department and Alberta Vehicle Extrication Association. The reach of the internet connects me to a friend across the pond in the UK, Jon Curley from rtc-rescue.com. Last but not lest is the FireEMSBlog.com group of bloggers and support staff. While I have yet to meet any of them face-to-face, they all are a true asset to the Fire Service and I’m looking forward to a great New Year!
Please everyone on-duty tonight or like me, skipping the alcohol just incase there’s a MVA on the freeway (fires or even more rare in Wixom, MI), stay safe out there!!
The Body Structure of the 2011 Honda CR-Z is made up with 45% high-strength steel (590 MPa or above).
2011 Honda CR-Z Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure
Most likely you looked at the image above and asked why does the windshield interface matter during an extrication? The 2011 Honda CR-Z has a thin A-pillar design that measures 108.8 mm in minimal thickness to improve forward visibility. Why it really matters is the A-pillar get strength through the use of high-grade, high-tensile steel of class 780MPa.
The body structure of the 2011 Hyundai Genesis is made from an Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) uni-body. This is the first line of defense for the passengers inside the Genesis’s cabin. Hyundai has engineered advanced crumple zones to absorb and redirect forces away from the passenger cabin.
Genesis body-in-white is made of the following types of steel: High-strength steel (HSS) (56.7%), shown in green, and Ultra-high-strength steel (UHSS) (18.3%), shown in orange/red. That totals to 75%.
There are 8 airbags in the Genesis, including 2 front, 2 rear seat, dual front-advanced, and roof-mounted curtain side impact bags. An added safety feature in the seat is the active front head restraints that protect against whiplash in a rear collision. These whiplash protection systems have started to make there way into more vehicles. When the systems were first used the cost was too high so you would only find them in high end vehicles. The systems work very well!
Take a look at a test my friend across the Pond did on cutting boron steel with a reciprocating saw (or Sawzall if you are a Milwaukee Electric Tool fan). Basically, John from RTC Rescue over in the UK shows that a reciprocating saw is useless trying to cut thru the boron directly. Boron steel will remove and or round the teeth on reciprocating saw blades. That fact is really nothing new. Blade manufacturers are working on improving the cutting ability of the blades. Check the video out, John tries to cut the B-Pillar from a 2009 Mercedes C-Class with different blades and models of saws with no luck.
Over 50% of the new 2011 Ford Fiesta’s body structure is constructed out of lightweight, incredibly high-strength Boron steel. The use of Boron Steel is borrowed from Volvo. However, the super steel compound was only used in select key areas, including the Fiesta’s floor structure, front rails and beams, and the integrated “body-side reinforcement.” Essentially an extremely complex roll cage, the primary structural components of the body-side reinforcement include the slim A-pillar, the intrusion-resistant B-pillar, the rocker panels to which the B-pillar is fixed, the stabilizing rocker baffles, side roof arch and the lower A-pillar.
The Detroit News has an article today about GM’s plan to offer training to first responders. I spoke with Ron Moore last month from Firehouse.com’s University of Extrication and he told me that he recently visited the GM proving grounds to cut up a new Chevrolet Volt. Aside from all the battery and electric concerns. He said that this vehicle has some really strong Dual Phase steel to consider also.
GM is offering training on the new Chevrolet Volt for first responders. If you are having trouble watching the video, click here.
During the past several months, Chevrolet has collaborated with first-responder representatives from national safety organizations to develop educational materials for firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical technicians and emergency dispatchers nationwide. This will help ensure the training meets the needs and answers the questions their colleagues are likely to have about electric vehicles.
Their feedback is being incorporated into training materials that will be available on the tour and posted on a targeted Web site for departments unable to attend the training sessions.
The training will include animation and illustrations of the Chevrolet Volt, highlighting locations of high-strength steel, cut points for extrication, first-responder labeling, automatic and manual electrical shut-off and more.
Notice the last sentence in the quotes? There are going to be cut points for extrication and first-responder labeling! A true step in the right direction to help us get our patients out quickless.
Next year when Ford starts selling the 2012 Focus First Responders will have another vehicle packed with UHSS and Boron steels. The new Focus is 25 percent greater torsional rigidity than the current North American Focus. The different strenghs of steel is broken down high-strength steel for 55% of the body shell with 26% of the structure formed from ultra-high-strength Boron steels. Just an FYI, this is more than any other Ford vehicle.