Side Impact Structural Characterization from FMVSS 214D Test Data 2001-01-0122
Due to the upgrade of FMVSS 214 and the emergence of side NCAP tests, there is a growing body of crash test data on vehicle side structures. Such data would be very useful to reconstructionists, except that the struck vehicle behavior is masked, in part, by the use of a deformable moving barrier in the test. The post-impact dynamics and the energy absorption by the barrier itself must be accounted for if the desired vehicle structural characterization is to be extracted.
Attempts prior to this paper to achieve a side structure characterization have dealt with these issues by invoking various simplifying assumptions. Unfortunately, these have not been supported by a foundation in either physics or measurement. Questions have also been raised whether prior characterizations of the barrier face are appropriate, in view of the prior crash modes being so unlike the FMVSS 214 test.
To address these issues, crash tests of the barrier itself, in an appropriate crash mode, have been conducted. The properties of the barrier face in this mode have been determined. The paper shows how to use those properties, in combination with results from crabbed moving deformable barrier tests, to extract the structural characteristics of the side-struck vehicles. Such characteristics are presented for 43 vehicles.