· Hydroformed A-posts can support more than twice the car’s weight.
· More effective roll-over protection – ROPS (Roll-over Protection System).
· Door-mounted inflatable curtain contributes to roll-over protection.
The all new Volvo C70 has very stable road properties, thanks largely to its dynamic and pliant chassis and particularly torsionally stiff body. There is a reduced risk of the car rolling over, but the risk nonetheless cannot be disregarded. Since the car does not have a fixed roof, the demands on the windscreen pillars – the so-called A-posts – are extra high.
“Each of the A-posts in the all new Volvo C70 is designed to carry more than twice the car’s weight in the unlikely event that the car rolls over,” says Ingrid Skogsmo, head of Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
Behind this strength lies an advanced production method – hydroforming. In this method, a tube is formed with water pumped inside under immensely high pressure, at the same time as the outside is shaped using a number of rotating hammers. A hydroformed profile can be formed in one single piece with varying shape and thickness along its length. That is why the A-posts in the all new Volvo C70 have been able to be formed optimally without any joints, seams or sharp angles. What is more, they stretch all the way down to the sill beams. The A-posts are made of Extra High Strength Steel, which is stiffer than High Strength Steel and contributes to effective roll-over protection.
Further-developed Roll-over Protection System – ROPS
Like its predecessor, the all new Volvo C70 has sturdy metal arches that come up behind the rear seat passengers to create extra space in the event of a roll-over accident. The system, known as the Roll-over Protection System – ROPS – has been further refined in a number of ways. For one thing, the arches are stronger and for another, they are deployed far faster than before. They are activated with the help of a pyrotechnical charge.
Since the all new Volvo C70 has a rear window of glass, the arches are pushed up through the window if the roof is up. They therefore feature small hardened tips to break through the glass.
Door-mounted inflatable curtains contribute to roll-over protection
Volvo’s inflatable curtains not only provide occupant protection in a side-impact collision, they also offer enhanced protection in a roll-over scenario. In the all new Volvo C70, the inflatable curtains have a unique design specially tailored for convertibles.
“Since there are no roof beams in which to anchor the inflatable curtains, they have instead been fitted in the doors,” explains Ingrid Skogsmo. When deployed, they inflate upwards.
The curtains have an extra-stiff structure with double rows of cells that partly overlap one another. As a result, they can stay upright and help protect the head effectively even if the side windows are open. What is more, they deflate slowly to provide added protection in the event of a roll-over accident. It is a unique solution in the automotive world.
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