Development of Energy Absorbing Automotive Structures Using Scale Model Test Techniques 740570
To reduce the cost of developing energy absorbing structures for passenger cars and trucks, scale model test methods have developed. The scaling relationships needed to relate scale models to full size structures have been formulated and a test program conducted to validate the relationships and develop scaling factors. A 30 ft. drop tower facility was constructed to conduct the test program. The tower allows impact velocities as high as 30 mph to be achieved and provides the necessary instrumentation to obtain the crushing loads and crushing mode of the scale model specimens. The scale model test techniques and the drop tower were used to develop an energy absorbing frame for a light van type vehicle. Scale models were fabricated representing a number of possible design configurations. The models were tested and the design which best satisfied the design goals was further developed and tested. A brief description of an upgraded drop tower facility is also presented.