9R10. Vehicle Crash Mechanics. - M Huang (Dearborn MI). CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton FL. 2002. 481 pp. ISBN 0-8493-0104-1. $99.95.

Reviewed by N Jones (Dept of Mech Eng, Univ of Liverpool, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L69 3GH, UK).

This book has grown out of lectures which have been given by the author on vehicle crashworthiness to automotive engineers from the Ford Motor Company, full service suppliers to the Ford Motor Company, and engineers from various consulting firms. The character of the book reflects this background; it is a thorough and detailed exposition of the subject, which is a cross between a textbook and a handbook. The book focuses almost exclusively on automobiles, although the basic equations, and some of the sections, could also be used for other vehicle crash mechanics.

The book contains seven chapters with the headings: Crash pulse and kinematics; crash pulse characterization; crash pulse prediction by convolution method; basics of impact and excitation modeling; response prediction by numerical methods; impulse, momentum and energy; and crash severity and reconstruction. The chapter on numerical methods focuses on lumped parameter methods, which bring out some of the basic features and response characteristics of vehicle crash mechanics. This would be likely to be more difficult to achieve with finite-element methods of analysis, which are not considered in this book.

Almost all of the references cited are books, SAE papers, or conference proceedings, with virtually no journal articles. This forms a valuable entre´e into the literature available on car crash mechanics. English units are used throughout the book, with a page of unit conversions before the index.

Vehicle Crash Mechanics is essential reading for anyone working on, or contemplating studying, the collision mechanics of automobiles. It would also be of value to others with an interest in basic aspects of the crashworthiness of other vehicles (buses, trains, trucks). Some of the sections on the crash pulse analysis would be of interest to many experimentalists who are active in the impact field.