An Innovative Approach to Component Testing Using an Impact Sled 2020-01-1331
Historically, crash development component testing has been conducted using gravity-based vertical drop towers. The drop tower carriage is loaded to a specified weight, raised to a specific height to achieve an energy target, and dropped onto the part. This long-used approach has significant limitations with respect to achievable speed and energy, part orientation, impact angle, useable impact surface, component size, etc. With the wide variance in simulating today’s global crash scenarios, a better approach is being developed using an impact sled. The most significant advantage of this system is that there is a much higher achievable speed and energy which can be controlled with precise accuracy. This paper will provide an overview of the impact sled test system, as well as the methodology used to conduct the testing. The overview will include the challenges faced during the development of the impact sled, as well as the need for accurate and precise component fixturing methods. Various test setup designs and the test methodology will be examined. Readers of this paper will gain a broader understanding of the impact sled test methodology and how it applies to evaluating components for crashworthiness.