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Technical Paper

Development of A New Dynamic Rollover Test Methodology for Heavy Vehicles

Abstract Among all the vehicle rollover test procedures, the SAE J2114 dolly rollover test is the most widely used. However, it requires the test vehicle to be seated on a dolly with a 23° initial angle, which makes it difficult to test a vehicle over 5,000 kg without a dolly design change, and repeatability is often a concern. In the current study, we developed and implemented a new dynamic rollover test methodology that can be used for evaluating crashworthiness and occupant protection without requiring an initial vehicle angle. To do that, a custom cart was designed to carry the test vehicle laterally down a track. The cart incorporates two ramps under the testing vehicle’s trailing-side tires. In a test, the cart with the vehicle travels at the desired test speed and is stopped by a track-mounted curb.
Technical Paper

Load-Limiters Effect on Occupant Restraint System Performance

Abstract This paper investigates the role that load-limiters play with respect to the performance of occupant protection systems, with focus on performance in frontal crashes. Modern occupant protection systems consist of not just the seat belt, but also airbags, interior vehicle surfaces and vehicle structure. Modern seat belts very often incorporate load-limiters as well as pretensioners. Published research has established that load-limiters and pretensioners increase the effectiveness of occupant protection systems. Some have argued that load-limiters with higher deployment thresholds are always better than load-limiters with lower deployment thresholds. Through testing, modeling and analysis, we have investigated this hypothesis, and in this paper we present test and modeling data as well as a discussion to this data and engineering mechanics to explain why this hypothesis is incorrect.
Technical Paper

Sled Test Development and Occupant Protection Evaluation Based on the Frontal Crash Response of Heavy Trucks

Abstract Full-scale vehicle crash testing is an accurate method to reproduce many real-world crash conditions in a controlled laboratory environment. However, the costs involved in performing full-scale crash tests can be prohibitive for some purposes. Dynamic sled testing is a lower cost and widely used method to obtain multiple, useful data sets for development of frontal crash mitigating technologies, systems and components. Wherever possible, dynamic sled tests should use vehicle-specific deceleration pulses determined from full-scale vehicle crash tests. This paper establishes a dynamic sled test protocol based on data collected from eight full-scale heavy vehicle frontal crash tests. The sled test protocol is intended to be utilized as a basis for building a body of knowledge needed to update heavy vehicle frontal impact test recommended practices. These recommended practices provide direction for the development of frontal crash mitigating technologies, systems and components.
Technical Paper

Restraint Load Marks in Sled Testing Conducted with the Hybrid III 3-Year-Old and 6-Year-Old Anthropomorphic Test Devices

Properly restraining a child in an automotive seat may require the use of a weight- and size-appropriate Child Restraint System (CRS). Proper installation of the CRS is a critical part of protecting a child during a motor vehicle collision. During a collision, child occupants sometimes exert enough force on the restraint system to generate load marks on the CRS and the vehicle restraint system. These marks are often relied upon by investigators to determine if the child occupant was properly restrained at the time of the collision. This paper is an observational study of the load marks generated from sled testing that was conducted using Hybrid III 3-year-old and 6-year-old Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs). Tests were conducted with various child restraint systems that were installed in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations as well as installed improperly. Additional tests were conducted with the ATDs without the use of a CRS.