April 17, 2012

All-new Ford Fusion features unique crush can safety feature

The striking new shape of the all-new Ford Fusion conceals another shape-optimised innovation that helps keep the car and those inside it safer.

The brand-new car features two diamond square-shaped crush cans, which are hollow pieces of metal between the bumper and the
front end of the vehicle structure. When involved in an accident, the crush cans collapse progressively to efficiently absorb the energy of an impact. The diamond square-shape design is the result of what engineers call shape optimisation, or the simulation of different shapes to find the right geometry to provide additional protection for the new Fusion and its passengers.

“After testing more than 120 different shapes for the Fusion crush can, we found the diamond square to be the best shape to help offer protection at low- and high-speed impact,” said Raj Jayachandran, one of the Ford Engineers who developed the crush can.

How it works
At low speeds, the crush can manages the impact energy by quickly offering resistance force due to its additional corners. This reduces the stroke and keeps the deformation within the crush cans. This progressive collapse helps eliminate damage to the rest of the car. The crush can and the bumper beam assembly is bolted onto the front rails making the parts easier to replace as well. This protection saves the driver from costly repairs to the cooling system and horn.

At higher speeds, the crush can efficiently absorbs the impact energy by completely collapsing around itself in tighter spirals to help protect the driver and passengers inside the vehicle. In a crash at 50 km/h, the can resembles a condensed screw due to the way it crushes.

The Fusion’s front-end architecture meets simultaneous standards across regions. The car’s front end is equipped to meet full frontal and offset barrier standards for North America while still conforming to European standards for pedestrian protection.

New Fusion offers strength and safety
The all-new Fusion is designed with customer safety in mind. Engineers increased its body strength by 10 per cent, using more high-strength steels such as boron, and added dual first-row knee airbags and adaptive front airbags that vent and tether to conform to a specific occupant’s size, position and seat belt usage.

The Fusion safety team targeted top-of-the-line ratings in each public domain safety benchmark, including National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ratings, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick and top ratings in world markets where the car will be sold.


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