Mazda have developed an impact absorbing structure for use in car bonnets. The structure is called “shock cone aluminium hood”. The new structure was designed to minimise head injuries sustained by pedestrians when they were struck by cars.
It differs from standard automotive bonnets in that it has an inner panel with uniquely shaped craters, similar to cones. These structures are called shock cones and effectively absorb impact loads across the whole surface of the bonnet.
Standard bonnets consist of an outer skin reinforced by a metallic skeleton. This structure, while controlling crumpling to some degree, has hard points and is not as effective at absorbing impacts.
The shock cone aluminium hood will be first used in the Mazda RX-8, due out in spring (northern hemisphere), but will be gradually incorporated into all Mazda models.
For more information on automotive panelling, click here.