Experimental Devices to Simulate Toepan and Floorpan Intrusion
Two sled systems capable of producing structural intrusion in the footwell region of an automobile have been developed. The first, System A, provides translational toepan intrusion using actuator pistons to drive the footwell structure of the test buck. These actuator pistons are coupled to the hydraulic decelerator of the test sled and are powered by hydraulic energy from the impact event. Resulting footwell intrusion is characterized using a toepan pulse analogous to the acceleration pulse used to characterize sled and vehicle decelerations. Sled tests with System A indicate that it is capable of accurately and repeatably simulating toepan/floorpan intrusion into the occupant footwell. Test results, including a comparison of lower extremity response between intrusion sled tests and no intrusion sled tests, indicate that this system is capable of repeatable, controlled structural intrusion during a sled test impact.