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GE Moving to Improve Pedestrian Safety: Company's XENOY Resin Helping to Re-Define Pedestrian Impact Protection Systems

Published on 2005-03-22. Author : SpecialChem

BERGEN OP ZOOM -- GE Advanced Materials, Automotive has developed new Pedestrian Impact Protection materials and design innovations to help automotive manufacturers and tier suppliers with the design of front-end safety systems. In GE's new, front-end safety concept, energy absorbers molded from the company's XENOY resin are positioned directly behind the vehicle's fascia to help cushion possible impact. GE has developed the concept to help meet European Union (EU) pedestrian protection legislation due to come into effect in 2005.

The latest accident statistics show that each year in the EU an estimated 7,000 pedestrians are killed and several hundred thousand injured as a result of vehicle front-end impact. This has led the European Enhanced Vehicle Safety Committee (EEVC) to develop legislation to provide greater protection to pedestrians involved in automotive accidents. Other countries, including Japan, are considering similar legislation.

Although there is no similar legislation in the United States, vehicles designed and exported across the globe will need to meet EU legislation. The EEVC will require the automotive industry to test and monitor new vehicles to assess their pedestrian protection performance in 40 km/h (25mph) impacts.

Research shows that there are three main areas of the pedestrian's body most subject to injury from a moving vehicle: the head, pelvis and upper leg, and the knee and lower leg. These injuries are associated directly with specific areas of the car. Head injuries usually result from contact with the hood top and A-pillars; pelvis and upper leg injuries from impact with hood top and fender; and knee and lower leg damage generally results from contact with the bumper. The European New Car Assessment Program (EuroNCAP) has conducted a series of tests in accordance with EEVC guidelines and found that most mainstream cars manufactured in the United States, Europe, and the Pacific, which are available in Europe, fail to adequately meet the criteria.

Tests conducted by the GE Advanced Materials engineering team have demonstrated that the front-end safety energy absorbers, molded from XENOY resin, have the ability to manage energy sufficiently below the limits proposed by the EEVC, to help reduce deceleration, bending, and shear of the lower leg.

The XENOY resin-based energy absorber in GE's pedestrian impact protection concept also helped to contribute to sleeker styling, weight reduction, and potentially lower vehicle costs. It provided for easy assembly and, with technical support from GE Advanced Materials' team of automotive specialists, helped shorten development time.

Moreover, GE Advanced Material's global presence enables it to meet material availability and delivery continuity to satisfy a demanding manufacturing schedule.

About GE Advanced Materials

GE Advanced Materials is a world leader in providing materials solutions through engineering thermoplastics, silicon-based products and technology platforms, and fused quartz and ceramics. Among its businesses are:

  • Plastics - which is a global plastics materials supplier and distributor, serving customers in a variety of industries including aerospace, appliances, automotive, building and construction, data storage and optical media, medical, electrical and electronics devices, telecommunications, computers and peripheral devices, outdoor vehicles and devices, and packaging .
  • Silicones - which includes GE Toshiba Silicones in the Pacific region and GE Bayer Silicones in Europe, offering silanes, specialty silicones, urethane additives, adhesives, sealants, resins, and elastomers for a variety of industries such as personal care, automotive, tire and rubber, construction, healthcare, electronics, household and institutional, agriculture, textiles, appliances, bedding and furnishings, foam control, and consumer .
  • Quartz - which provides high-purity quartz and advanced ceramic materials for the semiconductor, telecommunications, lighting, electronics, personal care, water purification, and various other industries.

GE (NYSE:GE) is a diversified technology, media, and financial services company dedicated to creating products that make life better. From aircraft engines and power generation to financial services, medical imaging, television programming, and plastics, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs more than 300,000 people worldwide.

Source: GE Advanced Materials

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