Real World Applications
So do these analytical studies translate into real world vehicles? The answer is yes. Again we take a look at some information from a previous Ford presentation on the Fusion/Mondeo. The hydroform B-pillar and its components shown here improves upon hot-stamped boron designs.
Stiffness is important when evaluating things like NVH. In Ford’s case, the tubular design is not as stiff. However, for A and B-pillars, the load carrying capability is more important. Roof crush, pole impact and side impact shown here are the loads that these structures are designed to manage efficiently. This change from tailor welded boron stampings to hydroform tubes resulted in a mass savings of 4 kg per vehicle. Ford also commented on significant cost savings with using the hydroform tubes, but did not quantify those results.