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Technical Paper

A Repeated-Crash Test Technique for Assessment of Structural Impact Behavior

1986-02-24
860208
An economical alternative technique is presented for obtaining vehicle frontal crush characteristics from a series of repeated low speed barrier crashes. Results were analyzed using a technique of linear correlation of residual crush depth with a defined crush energy parameter. The data compared closely with crashes reported in the literature, and suggested that the structure exhibits only a slight strain rate sensitivity. Crush energy is shown to correlate well with dynamic crush depth. Relations among dynamic and residual crush and recovery distance are reported, Velocity restitution is shown to be about constant at 15% over the impact velocity range employed. A force-deflection relation based on the offset force linear harmonic oscillator theory is suggested, shown to agree quite well with data. Repeated crash testing can be an effective method to obtain information needed for development of analytical and predictive tools useful in design and reconstruction.
Technical Paper

The Accuracy and Usefulness of SMAC

1978-02-01
780902
Computer-aided crash reconstruction has become common-place in the automotive safety profession, primarily because of widespread distribution of software under public auspices. The SMAC (Simulation Model of Automobile Collisions) program, for instance, is available through NHTSA at nominal cost. This paper exhibits some of the limitations and strengths of accident reconstruction simulations, with illustrations and emphasis drawn from the SMAC program. In particular, some coarse physical approximations used and some coding errors incurred in the formulation of SMAC are discussed, together with their respective effects on the accuracy of prediction. Revisions of the basic SMAC coding have been developed at BYU to overcome these shortcomings. Results of uncorrected and revised SMAC simulations are demonstrated by comparison with the physical theory. Comments regarding a new SMAC program just completed under U.S. Government contract are presented where appropriate.
Technical Paper

Load Path Considerations for Side Crash Compatibility

2007-04-16
2007-01-1176
Heavier, larger pickups and SUVs are bound to encounter lighter, smaller passenger vehicles in many future accidents. As the fleet has evolved to include more and more SUVs, their frontal structures are often indistinguishable from pickup fronts. Improvements in geometric compatibility features are crucial to further injury prevention progress in side impact. In corner crashes where modern bullet passenger car (PC) bumpers make appropriate geometrical overlap with target PC rocker panels, concentrated loads sometimes disrupt foam and plastic bumper corners, creating aggressive edges. In situations where sliding occurs along the structural interface, these sharp edges may slice through doors, panels and pillars. End treatments for such bumper beams should be designed to reduce this aggressive potential.
Technical Paper

Fatal and Severe Injuries in Rear Impact; Seat Stiffness in Recent Field Accident Data

2008-04-14
2008-01-0193
A decade ago, James, et.al. published a detailed study of the available NASS data on severe rear impacts, with findings that “… stiffened or rigid seat backs will not substantially mitigate severe and fatal injuries in rear impacts.” No field accident study has since been advanced which refutes this finding. Advocates of rigidized seat backs often point to specific cases of severe rear impacts in which MAIS 4+ injuries are associated with seat back deformation, coupled with arguments supporting stiffer seatback designs. These arguments are generally based upon laboratory experiments with dummies in normal seating positions. Recent field accident data shows that generally, in collisions where the majority of societal harm is created, yielding seats continue to provide benefits, including those associated with whiplash associated disorders (WAD).
Technical Paper

Photogrammetry and Accident Reconstruction: Experimental Results

1994-03-01
940925
A controlled experiment involving road marks was conducted to compare various photogrammetry practices currently in use in the accident investigation community. The experimental controls and results are discussed for three variations of one 2-D scheme and for six 3-D photogrammetric schemes applied to a similar set of road marks and points. For measurements related to the most frequent issues in traffic accidents, all of the methods are capable of providing usable data. The experimental photographs and corresponding data represent a reference set for developing skills and for comparison with other photogrammetry schemes.
Technical Paper

Optimum Restraint Parameters for Bounded Occupant Motion in Decelerating Vehicles

1970-02-01
700450
The problem of occupant impact severity reduction by effective use of available space was studied using a two-degree-of-freedom linear mathematical model implemented on a digital computer. An optimum-search method was employed to find the best values of stiffness and damping terms for linear lap and shoulder “belts” corresponding to specific vehicle pulseforms and geometry at speeds 10 to 60 mph. System performance was evaluated on the basis of a severity index comparing occupant deceleration data, and upon penalties imposed for occupant contact with vehicle interior structures. Comparison to biomechanical data indicates that the optimal linear system for 60 mph could produce serious injuries. Comparison to theoretical optimum values indicates considerable room for improvement, using active or nonlinear passive systems.
Technical Paper

LIMITATIONS OF ATB/CVS AS AN ACCIDENT RECONSTRUCTION TOOL

1997-02-24
971045
Occupant simulation models have been used to study trends or specific design changes in “typical” accident modes such as frontal, side, rear, and rollover. This paper explores the usage of the Articulated Total Body Program (ATB) as an accident reconstruction tool. The importance of model validation is discussed. Specific areas of concern such as the contact model, force-deflection data, occupant parameters, restraint system models, head/neck loadings, padding, and intrusion are discussed in the context of accident reconstruction.
Technical Paper

Comparative Thoracic Impact Response of Living and Sacrificed Porcine Siblings

1977-02-01
770930
Thoracic impact response and injuries of living and postmortem porcine siblings were investigated to quantify comparative differences. Thirteen male animals, averaging 61.4 kg, from five different porcine litters comprised the two animal samples. Porcine brothers were subjected to similar impact exposures for which at least one brother was tested live, anesthetized and another dead, post rigor with vascular repressurization. Statistically significant differences in biomechanical responses and injuries were observed between live and postmortem siblings. On the average the anesthetized live animals demonstrated a greater thoracic compliance, as measured by increased normalized total deflections (21% Hi), and reduced overall injuries (AIS 14% Lo and rib fractures 26% Lo) at lower peak force levels (13% Lo) than did the postmortem subjects. However, individual comparisons of “match-tested” siblings demonstrated very similar responses in some cases.
Technical Paper

Sensitivity of Porcine Thoracic Responses and Injuries to Various Frontal and A Lateral Impact Site

1978-02-01
780890
Classical blunt thoracic impacts have involved midsternal anteroposterior loadings to an upright-positioned subject. Data on the sensitivity of human cadaver and/or animal model biomechanical and injury responses to blunt loadings at different sternal locations is needed to evaluate the efficacy of current injury-potential guidelines for nonsite-specific frontal impacts. In addition, the biomechanics and injury mechanisms associated with lateral impacts constitute a subject of increasing consideration for occupant protection. Twelve anesthetized pigs were subjected to various blunt frontal or a right-side impact to assess biomechanical and injury response differences in a living animal model.
Technical Paper

Crush Energy in Accident Reconstruction

1986-02-24
860371
Vehicle accident reconstruction methods based on deformation energy are argued to be an increasingly valuable tool to the accident reconstructionist, provided reliable data, reasonable analysis techniques, and sound engineering judgement accompany their use. The evolution of the CRASH model of vehicle structural response and its corresponding stiffness coefficients are reviewed. It is concluded that the deformation energy for an accident vehicle can be estimated using the CRASH model provided that test data specific to the accident vehicle is utilized. Published stiffness coefficients for vehicle size categories are generally not appropriate. For the purpose of estimating vehicle deformation energy, a straight-forward methodology is presented which consists of applying the results of staged crash tests. The process of translating crush profiles to estimates of vehicle deformation energies and velocities is also discussed.
Technical Paper

Injury and Intrusion in Side Impacts and Rollovers

1984-02-01
840403
The relationship between occupant crash injury and occupant compartment intrusion is seen in the perspectives of the velocity-time analysis and the NCSS statistical data for two important accident injury modes, lateral and rollover collisions. Restraint system use, interior impacts, and vehicle design features are considered. Side impact intrusion is analyzed from physical principles and further demonstrated by reference to staged collisions and NCSS data. Recent publications regarding findings of the NCSS data for rollovers, as well as the NCSS data itself, are reviewed as a background for kinematic findings regarding occupant injury in rollovers with roof crush.
Technical Paper

Design, Development and Testing of a Load-Sensing Crash Dummy Face

1984-02-01
840397
This project covers one facet of a program to develop a mechanical model for characterizing the time history of local forces on the zygomatic, maxillary and mandible regions of the human face during a frontal collision. Two mechanical devices to measure the forces on crash dummies during testing were designed, constructed and tested. The devices employed cantilever beams equipped with strain gauges. Both devices were subjected to a series of drop tests onto various materials. Time histories were compared to those obtained from cadaver experiments. While the data obtained from this testing appears to be similar to the cadaver data, further improvements and modifications will make the model much more useful.
Technical Paper

Force/Deflection and Fracture Characteristics of the Temporo-parietal Region of the Human Head

1991-10-01
912907
Impact tests were conducted on thirty-one unembalmed human cadaver heads. Impacts were delivered to the temporo-parietal region of fixed cadavers by two, different sized, flat-rigid impactors. Yield fracture force and stiffness data for this region of the head are presented. Impactor surfaces consisted of a 5 cm2 circular plate and a 52 cm2 rectangular plate. The average stiffness value observed using the circular impactor was 1800 N/mm, with an average bone-fracture-force level of 5000 N. Skull stiffness for the rectangular impactor was 4200 N/mm, and the average fracture-force level was 12,500 N.
Technical Paper

Occupant Protection in Rear-end Collisions: II. The Role of Seat Back Deformation in Injury Reduction

1991-10-01
912914
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently opened a rulemaking docket seeking comments on the design of automobile seats and their performance in rear Impacts. There are two philosophies of seat design: one advocates rigid seats, the other advocates seats which yield in a controlled manner. A review of the legislative history of seat back design standards indicates that yielding seats have historically been considered a better approach for passenger cars. The design characteristics of current production automobile seats are evaluated and show no significant changes over the past three decades. Concerns about the performance of rigid seat backs in real world rear impacts are discussed, specifically increased injury exposure due to ramping, rebound and out-of-position occupants.
Technical Paper

Occupant Protection in Rear-end Collisions: I. Safety Priorities and Seat Belt Effectiveness

1991-10-01
912913
Recent detailed field accident data are examined with regard to injuries associated with rear impacts. The distribution of “Societal Harm” associated with various injury mechanisms is presented, and used to evaluate the performance of current seat back and restraint system designs. Deformation associated with seat back yield is shown to be beneficial in reducing overall Societal Harm in rear impacts. The Societal Harm associated with ejection and contact with the vehicle rear interior (the two injury mechanisms addressed by a rigid seat approach), is shown to be minimal. The field accident data also confirm that restraint usage in rear impacts has a substantial injury-reducing effect. Laboratory tests and computer simulations were run to investigate the mechanism by which seat belts protect occupants in rear impacts.
Technical Paper

Pulse Shape and Duration in Frontal Crashes

2007-04-16
2007-01-0724
Understanding of events within the history of a crash, and estimation of the severity of occupant interior collisions depend upon an accurate assessment of crash duration. Since this time duration is not measured independently in most crash test reports, it must usually be inferred from interpretations of acceleration data or from displacement data in high-speed film analysis. The significant physical effects related to the crash pulse are often essential in reconstruction analyses wherein the estimation of occupant interior “second collision” or airbag sensing issues are at issue. A simple relation is presented and examined which allows approximation of the approach phase and separation phase kinematics, including restitution and pulse width. Building upon previous work, this relation allows straightforward interpretation of test data from related publicly available test reports.
Technical Paper

Effect of Seat Stiffness in Out-of-Position Occupant Response in Rear-End Collisions

1996-11-01
962434
Accident data suggest that a significant percentage of rear impacts involve occupants seated in other than a “Normal Seated Position”. Pre-impact acceleration due to steering, braking or a prior frontal impact may cause the driver to move away from the seat back prior to impact. Nevertheless, virtually all crash testing is conducted with dummies in the optimum “Normal Dummy Seated Position”. A series of 7 rear impact sled tests, having a nominal AV of 21 mph, with Hybrid III dummies positioned in the “Normal Dummy Seated Position”, “Out of Position” and slightly “Out of Position” is presented. Tests were performed on yielding production Toyota and Mercedes Benz seats as well as on a much stiffer modified Ford Aerostar seat. Available Hybrid III upper and lower neck as well as torso instrumentation was used to analyze and compare injury potential for each set of test parameters.
Technical Paper

Friction Applications in Accident Reconstruction

1983-02-01
830612
The determination of appropriate friction coefficient values is an important aspect of accident reconstruction. Tire-roadway friction values are highly dependent on a variety of physical factors. Factors such as tire design, side force limitations, road surface wetness, vehicle speed, and load shifting require understanding if useful reconstruction calculations are to be made. Tabulated experimental friction coefficient data are available, and may be improved upon in many situations by simple testing procedures. This paper presents a technical review of basic concepts and principles of friction as they apply to accident reconstruction and automobile safety. A brief review of test measurement methods is also presented, together with simple methods of friction measurement to obtain more precise values in many situations. This paper also recommends coefficient values for reconstruction applications other than tire- roadway forces.
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