Steel Markets

AHSS Helps Win Five Stars for Ford F-150 in Crash Test

Written by Sandy Williams

The 2015 Ford F-150 pickup passed its crash test safety rating with flying colors. The aluminum bodied pickup received a five out of five star rating—one star higher than its traditional steel model—from the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration.

The Ford achievement is critical to ease consumer minds’ on the safety of aluminum. However, the rating is also due to the use of high strength steels in the truck’s frame.

The frame has an extra crossmember and increased use of high-strength steel to improve stiffness, durability and safety—all while reducing weight by 60 pounds.

“The team had to invent new ways to manage crash energy, because advanced materials like high-strength steel behave differently,” said Matt Niesluchowski, Ford truck safety manager in a company press release. “We found that changing certain shapes led to a weight reduction, while also improving crash performance.”

The vehicle is able to dissipate more energy in a front impact due to a patented front crush horn. The unique structure allows the frame to buckle in a predictable manner in a frontal crash, protecting occupants in the cabin.

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