Here is one for the folks over in the United Kingdom. Just like every Volvo on the road today, the 2013 V40 Cross Country has a body structure packed full of different materials. What I found interesting is Volvo lists “Very High Strength Steel”, ” Extra High Strength Steel”and ”Ultra High Strength Steel” in the structure. What that means is Volvo is optimizing the use of the different strengths of steels. Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) is very expensive to manufacture into stampings so using a weaker steel in different areas to complement the UHSS while reducing costs.
Is safety at the scrap yard and at extrication training a priority? Here is one reason to drill and drive home to peel away the trim and look for airbag inflators even on old cars in the scrap yard. Yesterday a 2001 Volvo S40 was included in the vehicles at the local scrap yard for the man behind FirtDueTackle.com and me. When I looked inside the driver door the was a small door in the trim at the top of the B-Pillar. The door had a marking cooling out a roof airbag. I pulled out Moditech’s Crash Recovery System and looked up the vehicle and sure enough there is a roof airbag with the inflator located in the middle of the C-Pillar. It was easy to assume that that a 11 year old vehicle wouldn’t have inflators in the pillars, but that is a dangerous assumption.
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.
The world’s first pedestrian airbag fitted as standard on the all-new Volvo V40 is the next step towards the manufacturers target that no-one should be killed or injured in a new Volvo by 2020.
For complete A to Z on how the pedestrian airbag works, check out the Technology update May 2012 | PEDESTRIAN PROTECTION AIRBAG from our friends over at Moditech.
Moditech’s extrication expert Jörg Heck provides a quick reminder for us. “Switching the ignition to the off position and, if possible, isolating the vehicles electrical system are very important measures to keep in mind. In addition, rescuers should always maintain a safety distance from an undeployed pedestrian protection airbag, while working on the crashed vehicle with heavy equipment. Therefore it’s essential to know what’s inside!” Remember as more safety features are added rescuers need to keep learning and adding to their mental toolbox!
Volvo is not the only auto maker with pedestrian airbags, the 2014 BMW X5 will have one!
We all know that the Volvos are built like tanks and packed full of safety features. Take a look at the 3 videos below that show the different features that are in the Volvo XC60. In the Crumple Zones video notice how the engine is mounted transversely and that the outer body structure is softer steel that deforms to absorb more of the energy. The Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) videos show how the seats move to protect the occupants.
Volvo XC60: Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)
Volvo XC60: Crumple Zones
Volvo XC60: Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS)
The 2011 Volvo C30 body structure has a patented front and rear structure that use different grades of steel to absorb and redistribute impact energy around the body of the coupe during a crash. The C30 was tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and was awarded Top Safety Pick award. The C30 was granted the IIHS’s highest rating of “good” in front, side, rear and roof strength tests. The B-Pillar is very well built with Ultra High Strength Steel (UHSS) and is the reinforcement is colored pink in the image below.
In the picture below the seat belt pretensioners are highlight in red. The front seat prentensioners are located in the B-Pillar located just below the window. The rear seat prentensioners are located just behind the belt retractor just below the window. The rear airbag stored gas inflator is located directly above the rear seat prentensioners just above the top of the rear quarter window.
This site is not affiliated with AB Volvo, Volvo Car Corporation, Volvo Cars of North America, Inc., or other Volvo companies whose products may be viewed in these pages. www.volvocars.com
2008 until to present, as of 2011 the Volvo V70 has a body structure around the passenger compartment is constructed in the form of a particularly strong safety cage using different grades of steel.
- Red: Ultra High Strength Steel
- Orange: Extra High Strength Steel
- Yellow: Very High Strength Steel
- Blue: High Strength Steel
- Grey: Mild Steel / Forming Grades
- Green: Aluminium
Getting detailed information out of Ford has not been to successful to date. I am still working on it and hope to have color coded body structure diagrams soon. The first information on the 2010 Ford Taurus post on this is site was short. New information is now available.
The Ford Taurus has dual-phase steel in the vehicle structure, including the inner A-pillar reinforcements, outer B-pillar reinforcements, roof rail and outer A-pillar assembly. The Volvo XC60 integrates safety into the body structure by utilizing ultra high-strength steels (1500 MPa) in the A-posts, B-posts, and floor sill reinforcements.
Just look at that UHSS strength number, 1500 Mpa. Now look at the chart below. That is almost the strong UHSS used today. Good luck out there! Just remember to have a Plan A,B,C etc!
I know must firefighters are familiar with Volvo use of Boron and UHSS. I just liked the brake down of the parts in the image above. Understanding what the parts we cut up look like is very important to understanding each parts role in the safety cage of a vehicle.