Boron B-Pillar Cross Sections
At FDIC 2011, the Champion Rescue Tool company had an interesting display table in their booth area. Situated on a metal display table was a large collection of cut sections of new vehicle A-pillar and B-pillars. I had the opportunity to photograph several of them.
As you look at these images, remember that most likely, your cutter would gather and compress the pillar together and then stall out as it attempts to cut through the layers and thicknesses of these pillars.
If for example, you have a three-layer hollow shaped B-pillar, your cutter will probably have to actually cut through six layers of steel because it gathered, crushed, and compressed the layers of the once hollow pillar together as the blades closed. No wonder our older generation cutters are having problems with these advanced steels. Take a look...
Auto Extrication of Boron Steel
Ron, we just sent (4) guys from my Department to an Auto Extrication Seminar/Class in Corona, CA and we cut at least (10) new Mercedes Benz for (3) days. There is definitely a difference when you cut into the Ultra-High Steel. We used Hurst Tools and they were able to cut through the posts, how they would operate is that they would stop and then once the psi increased (going into the 2nd Stage) the Cutters would start to cut again.
What we were told and found-out is if the Cutters stall-out move towards the middle about 4-6" and try your cut there. Stay away from the bottom of the post since that is where the energy is transferred through and continues through the vehicle dispersing the energy from the crash. The old days of "cut high", "cut high", "cut high" for roof removal are over with these new vehicles. Peel and peek then "cut high", "cut lower down/middle", "cut middle" seems to be way safer and there is less boron steel rods for reinforcement located there.
An interesting thought was brought-up by one of the Instructors. He said "I'm a Paramedic and have to renew my training every 3 years, but we don't have to update our Auto Extrication skills at a regular interval." He went on to comment about with how quick vehicle construction changes Departments should think about updating their extrication skills and classes on vehicle construction at least every 3 years. From what I experienced, I agree this class was a HUGE eye-opener. I've been on a large number of "Cutters" or T/Cs with Extrication and was amazed at how much there was still for me to learn.
Use your resources (Vehicle Manufactures, Insurance Company Investigators, Hybrid Repair Personnel, Vendors) and get your people updated information.