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Technical Paper

Rollover Testing of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) on an Actual Highway

A follow-up study on rollover testing was conducted along a section of a remote rural highway using six full-size sport utility vehicles (SUVs) of differing makes and models. The vehicles were instrumented and towed to highway speeds before being released, at which point an automated steering controller steered the vehicles through a series of maneuvers intended to result in rollover. A total of eight tests were conducted and documented, six rollovers and two non-rollover events. The six rollover events provide trip and tumbling conditions for each vehicle. The two non-rollover attempts produced cornering tire marks and allowed for the documentation of near roll conditions for the two out-of-control vehicles. All eight tests presented are instrumented real-world type tests that were later correlated based upon the data obtained.
Journal Article

Rollover Testing on an Actual Highway

Three full-size sedans were towed to highway speeds along a section of a remote rural highway. Upon release, an automated steering controller steered the vehicles through a series of maneuvers intended to result in rollover. Repeated attempts to roll each vehicle were made until rollover resulted. Non-rollover attempts produced cornering tire marks by the out-of-control vehicle. Out of numerous runs, 3 rollover and 2 non-rollover tests were selected for documentation and analysis. One additional steer-induced rollover test is presented that was conducted along a simulated road section at a closed test-track facility. All six tests presented are instrumented real-world type tests that were later reconstructed based upon the data obtained from on-board instrumentation, videotape, survey measurements, and still photographs obtained of each respective test.
Technical Paper

Narrow Object Impact Analysis and Comparison with Flat Barrier Impacts

Crash behavior in narrow object impacts was examined for the perimeter of a 4-door full size sedan. Additional test data was obtained for this vehicle by impacting four sedans with a rigid pole mounted to a massive moving barrier (MMB) in the front, right front oblique, right side, and rear. The vehicles were stationary when impacted by the MMB. Two of the four cars were repeatedly impacted with increasing closing speeds in the front and side, respectively. Each test was documented and the resulting deformation accurately measured. The stiffness characteristics were calculated for the perimeter of car and were presented using the power law damage analysis model. The vehicle's crash performance in these pole tests was compared to that of NHTSA's flat fixed barrier tests (deformable and non-deformable) for the front, side, and rear of this vehicle.
Technical Paper

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

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

Crush Energy in Accident Reconstruction

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

The Assessment of the Societal Benefit of Side Impact Protection

This paper summarizes work relating to the assessment of societal benefits of side impact protection. National Crash Severity Study (NCSS) and National Accident Sampling System (NASS) accident data technigues were reviewed with respect to the reliability of output information concerning the distribution of side impact accidents by impact severity and relationships between injury and impact severity. NCSS and NASS are confounded by errors and inadequacies, primarily as a result of improper accident reconstruction based upon the CRASH computer program. Based on review of several sample cases, it is believed that the NCSS/NASS files underestimate Lower severities and overestimate higher severities in side impact, with delta-V errors probably overestimated by 25-30 percent in the case of the more serious accidents. These errors cannot be properly quantified except on a case-by-case basis. They introduce unknown biases into NCSS/NASS.
Technical Paper

Thoracic Impact Response of Live Porcine Subjects

Five anesthetized porcine subjects were exposed to blunt thoracic impact using a 21 kg mass with a flat contact surface traveling at 3.0 to 12.2 m/s. The experiments were conducted to assess the appropriateness of studying in vivo mechanical and physiological response to thoracic impact in a porcine animal model. A comprehensive review of comparative anatomy between the pig and man indicates that the cardiovascular, respiratory and thoracic skeletal systems of the pig are anatomically and functionally a good parallel of similar structures in man. Thoracic anthropometry measurements document that the chest of a 50 to 60 kg pig is similar to the 50th percentile adult male human, but is narrower and deeper. Peak applied force and chest deflection are in good agreement between the animal's responses and similar impact severity data on fresh cadavers.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Storage In Vehicles--An Operational Comparison Of Alternative Prototypes

Performance and operational characteristics of several prototype containers for storing hydrogen are described. A cryogenic vessel and three metal hydride containers of similar design but different size have been used in automotive service. Hydrogen release rates were controlled to match with engine demand. All prototypes were able to sustain a steady state flow rate sufficient for vehicle operation at normal cruise speed. In order to illustrate the principle of hydride operation, a pressure--temperature history for recharge of a small portable hydride tank is given along with several discharge curves with and without heating.
Technical Paper

Injury and Intrusion in Side Impacts and Rollovers

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

Rear Stiffness Coefficients Derived from Barrier Test Data

Rear impacts in the crash test data base compiled by the NHTSA are analyzed and compared to the CRASH3 rear stiffness coefficients. The CRASH3 values do not represent the test data adequately. This is because the values were derived from limited data, and because some of the rear moving barrier test data were miscoded as fixed barrier tests. A review of the larger NHTSA data base does not support the CRASH3 assumption that vehicles of similar size (wheelbase) have similar rear stiffness characteristics. Therefore, it is important when reconstructing individual accidents to use crash test data specific to the vehicles involved. Repeated rear fixed barrier test data on four vehicles are analyzed to study the data trend at speeds below and above the NHTSA test data. Constant stiffness and constant force models are compared and a combination of the two is shown to fit available test data.
Technical Paper

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

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

Friction Applications in Accident Reconstruction

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.