A Compact Sled System for Linear Impact, Pole Impact, and Side Impact Testing 2002-01-0695
Accelerator-type sled systems have been very useful to the automotive industry for many years. These systems have allowed engineers to effectively evaluate a safety component in a frontal crash environment without having to conduct a full-scale crash test. While accelerator-type sleds are an excellent tool for frontal crashworthiness development, the energy required to simulate a side impact or lateral pole impact test is just a small fraction of the total capacity of the system. In light of this, a project was undertaken to develop a system which incorporated many features of the current accelerator-type sled system, but was designed to simulate non-frontal crash test cases. This paper describes the development and test applications for the new sled system.
The operating theory and general design is similar to current accelerator-type sled systems, although the new system has been scaled down significantly. The reasons for the smaller system is two-fold; less laboratory space is needed and the energy required for side impact or pole impact simulation testing is much less than the current maximum capacity. These two issues, space and reduced energy, were the driving factors in the development of this system. Results from both side and component-level linear impact tests will be presented. The correlation between sled data and crash data will demonstrate the overall effectiveness of the new system. Readers of this paper will gain a much broader understanding of accelerator-type sled testing, side impact crashworthiness test techniques, and airbag development procedures.