An Assessment of Load Cell- and Accelerometer-Based Responses in a Simulated Impact Test 2014-01-0198
Load cells and accelerometers are commonly used sensors for capturing impact responses. The basic objective of the present study is to assess the accuracy of responses recorded by the said transducers when these are mounted on a moving impactor. In the present work, evaluation of the responses obtained from a drop-weight impact testing set-up for an axially loaded specimen has been carried out with the aid of an equivalent lumped parameter model (LPM) of the set-up. In this idealization, a test component such as a steel double hat section subjected to axial impact load is represented with a nonlinear spring. Both the load cell and the accelerometer are represented with linear springs, while the impactor comprising a hammer and a main body with the load cell in between are modelled as rigid masses. An experimentally obtained force-displacement response is assumed to be a true behavior of a specimen. By specifying an impact velocity to the impactor as an initial condition and using an implicit time integration technique, it is shown that the model accurately reproduces the input load-displacement behavior of the nonlinear spring corresponding to the tested component. This prediction also establishes the accuracy of the numerical approach employed in solving the LPM system. However, the spring representing the load cell yields a response that qualitatively matches the assumed input load-displacement response of the test specimen with a lower magnitude of peak load. The accelerometer, it appears, may be capable of predicting more closely the load experienced by a specimen provided an appropriate mass of the impactor system is chosen as the multiplier for the acceleration response.