Methodologies and Measuring Devices to Investigate Steering Systems in Crashed Cars 860204
Post-crash conditions of a car's steering system, when properly measured and documented, provide an insight to the interaction between the driver and the steering system that occurs during a frontal car crash. Steering system conditions were investigated in two interrelated phases: 1. Deformation of the wheel rim, spokes, and hub, and 2. Compression resistance force of the steering column. Two devices were developed to document the “crash loading” response of these two segments of the car's steering system. One device was designed to measure the deformations of the steering wheel and the other the force required to further compress the steering column. An initial test series on 19 “crashed” cars “field tested” the devices, developed the test techniques and procedures needed for in-depth studies, and formulated necessary data handling methods and data collection forms. The column loading device described here was primarily developed for columns incorporating an EA element but should function with other types of steering columns as well.