IN A ONE YEAR LABORATORY STUDY, a side impact sled was designed, built, and validated. Using the sled and a newer generation of side impact dummy, a number of energy-absorbing materials were tested and superior materials identified.
Initially this study concentrated on the crash test data for a number of V.W. Rabbits crashed in a previously completed study. The crashed vehicles were obtained, and interior crush tests were performed with a specially designed body form. This was done to determine how the effective stiffness (as seen by the occupant of the struck vehicle) of the interior door increases as the bullet vehicle presses against the interior door trim from the opposite side.
An acceleration-type sled buck was then designed and built with an “interior door” mounted to mimic the interior stiffness determined from the crush tests. The sled was dynamically tested with a Haversine sled pulse similar to the door crash pulse. The sled was validated by reproducing the crash environment of a car-to-car collision. The criteria considered for matching the two were: (1) acceleration-time curve of the interior door, (2) the velocity-time curve of the interior door, (3) kinematics of the Part 572 surrogate, and (4) accelerations on the surrogate.