Sled Test Evaluation of Racecar Head/Neck Restraints Revisited 2004-01-3516
At the 2002 MSEC, we presented a paper on the sled test evaluation of racecar head/neck restraint performance (Melvin, et al. 2002). Some individuals objected to the 3 msec clip filtering procedures used to eliminate artifactual spikes in the neck tension data for the HANS® device. As a result, we are presenting the same test data with the spikes left in the neck force data to reassure those individuals that these spikes did not significantly affect the results and conclusions of our original paper. In addition we will add new insights into understanding head/neck restraint performance gained during two more years of testing such systems.
This paper re-evaluates the performance of three commercially available head/neck restraint systems using a stock car seating configuration and a realistic stock car crash pulse. The tests were conducted at an impact angle of 30 degrees to the right, with a midsize male Hybrid III anthropomorphic test device (ATD) modified for racecar crash testing. A six-point latch and link racing harness restrained the ATD. In the comparative tests conducted at a 35-mph (56 km/h) velocity change with a nominal peak deceleration of 50G, the HANS device proved to give consistently excellent results in controlling neck tension forces and forward head excursion. The Hutchens and D-CEL devices provided borderline performance in controlling neck tension forces and no significant reduction in forward head excursion at the crash severity used in the tests.
Additional preliminary tests using the new THOR- NT frontal test ATD in the 0 degrees (straight ahead) direction were conducted with two of the head/neck restraint devices and a unique 0 degrees, 60 mph - 100 G peak deceleration test using the Hybrid III ATD with the HANS confirmed the superior performance of the HANS device.