Honda Motor Co Ltd has used a high-tensile steel plate with a 1.5GPa-class tensile strength for the N-Van commercial light car (van).
This is the first time that Honda has employed a 1.5GPa-class high-tensile steel plate for a light car. The company released the N-Van on July 13.
To make it easier to load/unload packages, Honda eliminated the center pillar on the side of the front passenger's seat. On the other hand, the removal of the center pillar lowers the strength of the body frame, making it difficult to secure safety against side crashes.
For the new vehicle, a 1.5GPa-class high-tensile steel plate (hot-pressed material) was applied to the front and rear door frames on the front passenger's side to play the role of the center pillar. Specifically, the 1.5GPa-class plate is used for the vertical frame between the front door and the sliding rear door.
Moreover, Honda employed a hook mechanism so that (1) the upper and lower parts of the front and rear doors mesh with the body frames and (2) the front door meshes with the rear door. As a result, even when a strong impact is applied to the front and rear doors on the front passenger's side at the time of a side impact, it is possible to prevent the doors from entering the passenger compartment, the company said.
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