Innovations for crash management systems
Thanks to Constellium’s collaborative efforts, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class became the first car to use an all-aluminium crash management system (CMS), featuring an inserted crashbox.
Our front crashbox innovation involved removing four vehicle fixing plates in the vehicle and the CMS. We instead inserted the CMS directly into the vehicle’s longitudinals. As a result, we lightened the strategically important area in front of the front wheels by 2-3 kg.
This co-developed crashbox was a breakthrough in the way original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) approached CMS. It is now used by several OEMs in many of their CMS.
We have also sought to implement lightweighting by simplifying the towing function. Our system needs no separate towing nut, as this function is integrated within one of the CMS crashboxes. Reduced welding length and part numbers are added benefits.
This crashbox design, patented by the renowned Constellium Automotive Structures and Industry business unit, is highly technical, because it must withstand the opposing forces of towing and impact.
We have also made automotive structures lighter by using thinner- (downgauged) and higher-strength aluminium extruded components. The stronger the alloys used, the thinner and lighter the components.
We succeeded in increasing alloy strength while keeping crashability at a very high level.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class was the first car to use an all-aluminium crash management system with inserted crashboxes.