A Discussion On Using A Pendulum as a Method for Impact Testing Vehicle Sub-Systems 2002-01-0687
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the use of a pendulum as a repeatable method for impact testing vehicle subsystems and components. Tests on three different vehicle subsystems are presented as examples of impact testing that has been performed using a pendulum. Impact testing on two different roll bar designs to compare effectiveness, impact testing on various van side cargo doors to compare door latch integrity, and impact testing on various fuel tanks to compare the integrity of the fuel tank with and without shields installed. These tests were not intended to replicate the forces, energy, or impact pulse on the vehicle in the actual collision but rather evaluate how the vehicle subsystem reacted to impacts that were similar to that which occurred in the collision. Using proper instrumentation, it can be used to determine the forces or energy required to cause a localized failure or event, determine if an engineered solution has corrected the problem, and used to compare one design to another.