An Energy-Absorbing Restraint System 710078

An energy-absorbing restraint system that limits the accelerations of a passenger in a forward auto crash to 20 g's is presented. The device absorbs energy through the continuous bending of a steel wire. Results of an elastic-plastic analysis of the device indicate that it closely approximates a constant force energy absorber; the force is only a weak function of velocity. Preliminary results from drop tests and high-speed impact tests to 100 mph indicate that the absorber can limit acceleration to a specified value. The results of two tests in which the device was used to restrain a volunteer during a head-on crash are presented. In each crash a vehicle driven at 50 mph impacted a parked vehicle. The results show that the restraint system protects a man in a forward crash by limiting his accelerations to a level below the threshold of injury for the vital organs.


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