1987-10-01

Horizontal Impact Sled for Crash Testing of Vehicle Structures 871948

Experimental evaluation is an important link in the design process, especially when new concepts are being developed. This paper describes the development of a reliable test device for crash testing of structural components and/or conceptual designs to provide the needed feedback to the design/development process and to aid in the verification of analytical predictive techniques.
The facility is a horizontal impact device, which accelerates and decelerates a sled for dynamic testing of vehicle structures and kinematic studies of a dummy occupant interacting with vehicle interiors and restraint systems. The facility is composed of a movable carriage (sled) mounted on tracks and driven into a fixed barrier by a pneumatic propulsion system. The system is capable of accelerating a 2300 lb. mass to 45 mph prior to impact. Associated instrumentation and data acquisition system including the facility's control system are described. System performance was evaluated and operating curves were defined for various impact weights and accelerated run lengths. In addition, various features of the facility are described with illustrations of dynamic tests of vehicle structural components and assemblies, and studies of dummy kinematics.
The impact sled described in this paper is a versatile impact testing device that allows a wide variety of crash investigations to be conducted in a controlled environment.

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