What is A Collapsible Steering Column & How It Works?

Collapsible steering column

Collapsible Steering Column Working Explained

The collapsible steering column is a type of advanced steering column. It is a part of the passive safety system in cars. Most passenger vehicles commonly employ the collapsible version instead of the regular steering column. It is also known as ‘Energy absorbing steering column’. Engineers invented it to reduce the risk of injuries occurring to the driver in case of frontal impacts.

The function of a typical steering column is to transfer the motion of steering wheel to ground wheels of the vehicle. It does this through the steering gearbox and respective linkages. The earlier generation of vehicles used a solid shaft in the steering column. Even though it served the purpose well, it had a drawback in terms of a safety threat.

The engineers conducted several studies on the subject. In case such a vehicle confronts a severe frontal impact, then the solid rod of steering column hurts the head and rib cage of the driver. Thus, it elevates the severity of injuries. This is the main reason why automotive engineers invented the collapsible-steering columns. They protect the drivers from possible injuries.

Constructional details of Collapsible Steering column (Courtesy: Team Chevelle)

From the structural point of view, the collapsible column has a ‘tube within a tube’ type of structure. It consists of hollow tubes of steel fitted into each other with the help of a special bearing and sealing. When the vehicle meets a frontal impact of a sever intensity, this tube structure collapses and absorbs the energy of impact. Thus, it considerably reduces the risk of damage to the driver’s body.

Collapsible Steering column in action (Courtesy:creaholic.com)

Nowadays, Most manufacturers offer Collapsible steering-columns for passenger vehicles as a standard fitment.

Watch the Collapsible Steering Column in action:

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