The prediction and optimisation of the crash behaviour of mass produced fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composite structures with regard to alternatively powered vehicles (APV) is in the focus of the MATISSE project. The ability to investigate crashworthiness of FRP vehicle structures by numerical simulation is crucial for these lightweight materials to see widespread use in future cars. To validate the modelling and simulation approach – and demonstrate its impact on vehicle design - we propose to use our improved methods for the investigation, design and testing of two important safety-critical parts of future APV. Both parts are examples of pressurised structures:
  • CNG fuel tanks – these have high quasi-static internal pressures of 200-250 bar, and the main safety concern is breach of integrity under crash, causing the pressurised contents to escape. Gaseous fuels are highly combustible, so breach of integrity constitutes a severe fire hazard.

  • Adaptive crash structures – these will be actively pressurised in a crash (comparable to an airbag) to change a structure’s stiffness to protect both occupants and safety critical parts of the vehicle as well as crash partners.
With a consortium focusing on the automotive industry and including partners active in the aerospace domain (where FRP structures are widely used), MATISSE leverages the knowledge from the aeronautical sector while assuring that advances in modelling, simulation and testing capabilities will be directly applicable to and acceptable for automotive applications, reinforcing the European automotive sector.
MATISSE comprises 11 partners from six countries, including four high ranking European universities/research centres, three SME, two innovative tier-1 suppliers and two major European vehicles manufacturers. The balance and complementarity of the partners is ensured as each of them has been selected to cover a specific knowledge gap. The consortium as a whole has all the expertise required for the successful implementation of MATISSE objectives.