Automotive windshield - pedestrian head impact : Energy absorption capability of interlayer material

J. XU*, Y.B. LI, X. CHEN*, D.Y. GE, B.H. LIU, M.Y. ZHU, T.H. PARK

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


During accident, the interlayer of windshield plays an important role in the crash safety of automotive and protection of pedestrian or passenger. The understanding of its energy absorption capability is of fundamental importance. Conventional interlayer material of automotive windshield is made by Polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Recently, a new candidate of high-performance nanoporous energy absorption system (NEAS) has been suggested as a candidate for crashworthiness. For the model problem of pedestrian head impact with windshield, we compare the energy absorption capabilities of PVB and NEAS interlayers, in terms of the contact force, acceleration, velocity, head injury criteria, and energy absorption ratio, among which results obtained from PVB interlayers are validated by literature references. The impact speed is obtained from virtual test field in PC-CRASH, and the impact simulations are carried out using explicit finite element simulations. Both the accident speed and interlayer thickness are varied to explore their effects. The explicit relationships established among the energy absorption capabilities, impact speed, and interlayer material/thickness, are useful for safety evaluation as well as automotive design. It is shown that the NEAS interlayer may absorb more energy than PVB interlayer and it may be a competitive candidate for windshield interlayer. © 2011 The Korean Society of Automotive Engineers and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-695
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Automotive Technology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: This work is financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) under the grant No. 10972122, State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety & Energy, Tsinghua University under grant No. ZZ0800062 and Doctoral Fund of Ministry of Education of China under grant No. 20090002110082. Y. Li and X. Chen appreciate the founding from Tsinghua University under the International Cooperation Project. J. Xu appreciates China Scholarship Council (CSC) to financially sponsor his study at Columbia University through joint Ph.D. program. X. Chen is supported by the National Science Foundation (CMMI-0643726), NSFC (50928601) and a World Class University (WCU) program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Korea (R32-2008-000-20042-0).


  • Energy absorption
  • Impact
  • NEAS
  • Pedestrian protection
  • PVB
  • Windshield


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