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Published by MARTUR / Dergilik, 2018-12-27 03:29:14

Crash Test Eylül 2014

Crash Test Eylül 2014


Blue horizon Paulo Vidal
Ford in Dearborn shoots past the 20,000 McLaren’s vehicle safety
crash test milestone and increases manager reveals how the
its crash computing power by 50% supercar maker tests its
carbon-fiber monocoques

Fiat safety center

An exclusive tour of the Orbassano
complex and insight into its future plans

Calspan reborn

NHTSA research and new equipment is
behind a renaissance at this historic facility

The latest crash test technology How the latest generation
awaiting visitors to Automotive of active human models could
Testing Expo North America revolutionize crash testing

Austria Instron Structural Testing
Tel: +49 341 8780102 Systems GmbH
Landwehrstraße 65
Australia D-64293 Darmstadt, Germany
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Editor’s note CONTENTS

Crash testing by the various In a perfect world, every vehicle COVER STORIES
NCAP organizations has had a on the road would offer excellent
huge impact on raising the safety of protection to its occupants. But at 02 Ford Dearborn
passenger cars. It was good to see least until the price of composite
Volkswagen respond immediately materials plummets (and it has How the Blue Oval is investing in computing
to Global NCAP’s test results, started to fall), it seems highly power for crash test simulations
published in January, by specifying unlikely that small, light and, above
dual airbags on all Polos sold all, cheap vehicles like those tested 10 Dr Christophe Bastien
in India. It feels right that OEMs will be as safe as Euro NCAP thinks
should always offer the same levels they could be. And surely comparing The Coventry University specialist tells Keith
of passive safety on a particular quadricycles with two-wheeled Read why dummies have a virtual future
model, no matter where it’s sold. alternatives is every bit as valid as
Then in June this year, Euro with larger, more expensive cars? 36 Paulo Vidal, McLaren Automotive
NCAP published the results of a test
program it had carried out on four My personal view is that the McLaren’s vehicle safety manager discusses
heavy quadricycles, one of which individual takes some responsibility supercar crash testing with Brian Laban
was the golf cart-like Club Car for their own safety. I expect
Villager. You can guess what my market-leading MPV to be FEATURES
happened next: Euro NCAP found thoroughly crash tested. I also know
that “in frontal and side impacts at the risks when I put on my cycle 04 Multistrada D-air
50km/h, all vehicles showed severe helmet and pedal to the shops.
safety problems”. Ducati performs its first ever crash test
Graham Heeps
20 Site visit: Fiat safety center
Editor Head of production Design team Publication director FREE reader enquiry service
Graham Heeps & logistics Louise Adams, Andy Bass, Mike Robinson available at An exclusive tour of a state-of-the-art facility
Ian Donovan Andrew Locke, Craig ([email protected])
Assistant editor Marshall, Duncan Norton, 27 Child seat testing
Rachel Evans Deputy production Nicola Turner, Julie Welby, Publication manager
manager Lewis Hopkins Ben White Aboobaker Tayub TRL’s impact sled system for testing in China
Production editor ([email protected])
Alex Bradley Production team Contributors this issue 32 Calspan focus
Chief sub editor Carole Doran, Cassie Inns, Matthias Kröger, CEO
Andrew Pickering Frank Millard, Robyn Skalsky Brian Laban, Gene Lukianov, Tony Robinson The ongoing transformation of a historic
Deputy chief sub editor Max Mueller, Keith Read Managing director crash test center. By Max Mueller
Nick Shepherd Art director Graham Johnson
Proofreaders James Sutcliffe Circulation manager Editorial director 44 University focus: TU Freiberg
Aubrey Jacobs-Tyson, Art editor Suzie Matthews Anthony James
Christine Velarde Anna Davie New drop-test rigs and a moving barrier

published by The views expressed in the articles and technical papers 49 Crash Test Zone
UKIP Media & Events Ltd are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed
by the publisher. While every care has been taken during Automotive Testing Expo North America
Contact us at: production, the publisher does not accept any liability for highlights the latest in crash test technologies
Crash Test Technology International errors that may have occurred.
Abinger House, Church Street, Dorking, 72 Lukianov
ISSN 2051-6096.
Surrey, RH4 1DF, UK Why safe cars should be big but not heavy
This publication is protected by copyright ©2014.
Tel: +44 1306 743744 INTERVIEW
Fax: +44 1306 742525 Printed by William Gibbons & Sons Ltd.
Email: [email protected] PO Box 103, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, 06 Q&A: Volker Sandner, ADAC

West Midlands, WV13 3XT Developments at the German crash center

Subscriptions £28/US$53 PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

16 DTS: New world standard
18 Humanetics: Crash dummy developments
30 Messring: State-of-the-art crash center
40 Seattle Safety: Dynamic pitch upgrade
42 Instron: Pitch and yaw crash sled
52 Orme: Customized motion-tracking software
54 HSVision: Crash test recording center
56 Kistler: Small overlap test barrier
58 GOM: Optical 3D metrology
60 AMS: Crash data management
62 AOS Technologies: Minimal downtime in

sled testing
64 L&T: Pedestrian airbag development
66 HYGE: Heavy-duty sled testing system
67 MeasX: Crash analysis software
68 Vision Research: High-speed imaging
69 Encopim: Active hood misuse testing
70 GNS: Faster FEA post-processing
71 Dummies4You: The future of dummies

001Crash Test Technology International


Ford is investing in increased computing power
for virtual crash testing and has reached a test
milestone at Dearborn


To meet the growing demand TOP: A passenger “Today’s vehicles come in a greater Merkenich, Germany; Geelong,
for virtual crash test data, knee airbag design variety of body styles, and have more Australia; and Tatuí, Brazil.
Ford is increasing its investment integrated into the technology and driver-assist features
in computing power for crash glovebox door will – and many countries have unique Two of the most recent and most
simulations by an additional 50% debut on the all-new regulations,” says Steve Kenner, demanding passive safety projects in
this year. The installation of the new 2015 Ford Mustang global director, Ford automotive Dearborn have concerned the 2015
computing power, which is ongoing, safety office. “We are able to manage Ford F-150 pickup, which now has
is part of a longer-term move to ABOVE: Note the this workload efficiently thanks to an all-aluminum structure, and the
expand processing capacity, which crash test number our investment in technology and the 2015 Ford Mustang. In line with the
Ford has increased every year for the (20070) on the side hard work of our teams.” One Ford philosophy, the latter will
past decade. of this Explorer test be sold around the world for the first
The technology investment will vehicle. A similar Ford has more than 500 safety time, increasing the complexity of its
allow Ford to more quickly conduct impact in simulation engineers around the world. These crash program to encompass multiple
virtual crash tests – some of which is shown (above right) teams run thousands of computer safety certifications. The car also
can take up to a full day to run – simulations before the physical sees the market debut of a passenger
while also collecting more data. It BELOW LEFT: tests are conducted. Earlier this knee airbag that is integrated into the
has run more than two million crash Ford has an ongoing year, Ford’s Crash Barrier Building glovebox door.
test simulations over the past 10 program to upgrade in Dearborn, Michigan, reached
years, during which time the number its computing power a milestone when it performed Dave Pericak, the Mustang’s chief
of virtual tests run each year has the 20,000th full-vehicle crash engineer, told Automotive Testing
increased by a factor of 10. Ford says test at the Dearborn development Technology International: “The crash
that the use of advanced computer center. It took 40 years to do the program has been much bigger, not
crash test models allows its safety first 10,000 full-body crash tests just because of the new markets, but
teams to evaluate and verify a variety but only 20 years for the second because the entire car is brand new,
of designs more quickly. 10,000. Globally, Ford has now so we weren’t able to use surrogate
It’s not just the speed and number completed more than 31,000 physical data. We had to crash everything
of tests that have increased. Having crash tests at labs in Dearborn; and re-establish baselines for the
more detailed vehicle models means new generation.” ‹
that safety teams can now run full-
vehicle crash simulations with up to
two million elements, up from half a
million just five years ago.

002 Crash Test Technology International


Multistrada D-air
Ducati conducted its
first-ever crash test
while adapting Dainese’s
D-air rider airbag to its
Multistrada touring bike


Dainese, the Italian supplier ABOVE: The dummy says Multistrada project manager, Ducati’s first-ever crash test – was
of motorcycle clothing, used was the best Paolo Versari. “We did some research carried out at the Ingolstadt crash
first launched its D-air wirelessly representation of a into which aftermarket system laboratory of its owner since 2012,
triggered airbag jacket into the street European Multistrada was the best and decided on D-air. Audi, in March 2014.
market in 2012, having originally rider: height around We then worked with Dainese to
developed the concept for racing 180cm, weight 80kg improve it.” “We don’t usually perform crash
use. In the event of a crash, an airbag tests during bike development,”
worn as a vest inflates to provide the BELOW: The D-air In the case of a frontal impact, Versari explains. “People often test
rider or pillion passenger with extra system adds only 1kg the sensors cover an angle of 45° to see the effect a motorcycle has on
back and chest protection, limit to the Multistrada’s left and right from the direction of a car during a crash, but it is not as
the inclination of the head in relation weight and 1.5kg to travel. Rear and side impacts will common for bike builders to see the
to the neck, and reduce helmet the rider’s clothing also trigger the airbag, as will a slide- effect of a crash on the motorcycle.
movement during rolling. and-impact scenario above 10km/h. It was interesting because you could
Motorcycle maker Ducati has “The system knows your speed,” says see which parts of the bike could be
been fitting active safety systems Versari. “Unlike in the aftermarket dangerous to the rider or passenger
to its bikes since 2003. These have version, the airbag won’t inflate if the and how to protect them.”
since proliferated and become more bike falls over when it is parked.”
sophisticated, but now it has gone In the event, the airbag triggered
a step further and specified its first The Multistrada is a complex bike, in line with both the simulations and
passive safety system by supplying but Ducati has managed to squeeze Dainese’s earlier tests on other bikes:
D-air as original equipment with its the necessary accelerometers beneath by inflating within 45ms, it’s well
the front mudguard and the D-air’s within the 80ms time limit to ensure
latest Multistrada 1200 S ECU under the seat. All elements adequate protection.
Touring bike. are rubber mounted and thousands
“We first of test kilometers on different road “Audi gave us a lot of help and
looked at the surfaces, test tracks and a rolling enabled us to crash against another
available road served to filter out vibrations car, which is a typical crash for a
airbag that would falsely trigger the device. motorcycle. They also loaned us
systems the instruments, including wireless
three An engineering team of around 10 accelerometers positioned on the
years ago,” (split between hardware, electronics neck, chest, pelvis, thigh, knee,
and testing) worked on the setup. shinbone and foot. That was a big
Numerous full-crash simulations help to us for the [promotional]
were run ahead of a single, physical movie we were shooting at the same
crash test to confirm the timing of time. We only had one crash to check
the system’s intervention. Although our work and make the movie.”
Dainese had performed crash tests
on other motorcycles during D-air’s The success of the program will
original development, Ducati had not be a springboard for further safety
previously worked in this area, so the work by Ducati. “There has not been
simulations were run by an external so much interest in motorcycle safety
specialist and the confirmation test – in the past, but we are now very
focused on that,” Versari promises. ‹

004 Crash Test Technology International

‘The most important dates for
your diary in 2014’

‘ We had a goal in mind, in terms of enquiry numbers, and
we’ve almost doubled that. There’s been a steady
’flow of very qualified people speaking to us,
asking some great questions
Gary Parente, product manager, NI

October 28, 29 and 30, 2014


Volker Sandner

Head of crash testing, ADAC

What is the focus of your work at What facilities do you have available system, which we developed ourselves and
the ADAC? at the ADAC? have been using for 15 years. Even over long
distances, the brightness of that system is
My personal role is to lead the area of We have one track where we run better than LED. On the acceleration sled
passive and active safety and accident car-to-car tests, measuring 170m with we use an LED system supplied by a theater
research. We collect data from road a hydraulic propulsion system, a block at pyrotechnics company called BBS, it’s a very
accidents using our rescue services; we the front, and a film pit in the middle. It’s all crash-resistant system and we’re happy with
bring the data together and this is the basis supplied by Messring, including the control it. We also have a controlled climate room
for every test we create. We can learn what system. We have the capability to do at the end of track; before a test the car
really happens on the road and if what we’re compatibility testing, which is also one of is pulled back into the climate chamber.
testing is in line with this or whether there are our main focuses and on one single track we
differences. For example, we have seen a lot can run 99% of actual tests. We have the old Have you acquired anything new
of accidents on the road involving the elderly Messring NA33 and NA34 data acquisition recently, and are there any plans
and small people, which is more problematic system, and we’re equipping all our dummies to update any of your existing
and we need to address these kinds of with the M=BUS in-dummy data acquisition equipment?
injuries. We also do official Euro NCAP testing system. We have two sled systems: one
and we do active safety testing such as child is the Messring Hydrobrake deceleration Yes, we have acquired some new
seat testing, motorcycle safety testing and system for high payloads; and the second dummies. There are new tests coming
helmet testing. We feed back to the OEMs is an electrically driven acceleration system up for Euro NCAP, so we’ve purchased a
and lawmakers, too. For example, there was from FronTone, who are based in Austria. 5th percentile female. We did a big update
a test we conducted six years ago where we Most of our cameras are high-definition last year to the acceleration sled with a new
identified that the under-run protection was systems from Photron, but we also have testing area and a new control room.
weak, so we fed this back so that something some from Kodak and some other suppliers.
could be done. In terms of lighting, we have a halogen More generally, how high is the
demand for crash test facilities?
“Sometimes the dummies don’t reflect 100%
what happens. We need to do more human There isn’t any competition because on
modeling to rate systems in a proper way” one hand there are the suppliers who
will always have to run their own products –
and there is of course competition between
the suppliers. Then there are the ministries
developing processes for the next legislation
and that’s their main focus. Then there are
consumer testers. From our point of view, we
have nothing to do with the legislative work or

In which major areas do you think
crash testing could be improved?

Crash testing is becoming more detailed
– years ago you could just place the
dummy in the car and have the result. But
now it’s more focused and sometimes the
dummies don’t reflect 100% what happens
in reality. We need to learn more and do more
human modeling to rate systems in a proper
way. It’s a lot of work to bring what happens
on the road into the dummy, to change parts,
or at least develop the rating process. <

The occupant safety cell of a VW
e-up electric car remained intact
in a crash test at the ADAC’s labs

006 Crash Test Technology International

‘More new exhibitors,
more new technology’

For me, the show is better than last year.

‘ There’s more variety, and more
representation from wider areas
’Bob McCarville, Hitachi

October 28, 29 and 30, 2014


North America’s only automotive test, evaluation and quality engineering trade show

October 28, 29 and 30, 2014

The Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI, USA

UKIP Media & Events Ltd

Abinger House, Church Street
Dorking, Surrey, RH4 1DF, UK

Tel: +44 1306 743744
Fax: +44 1306 877411
email: [email protected]

‘Focused’ ‘Relevant’

‘ ’Everyone that I really need to talk to
is here, under one roof
Matt Williams, lead performance
development engineer, Mahle


“To get rid of ATDs would, in the short
term, take a very courageous person.
In the long term? It’s possible”

Dr Christophe Bastien, principal lecturer, Coventry University

Peopmloeve on

According to a simulation specialist at Coventry University, the future
of dummy testing lies in the virtual world rather than the physical one


ABOVE RIGHT: The newly The crash test dummy is dead – long live the because engineers like to touch things. From ATDs,
developed Active THUMS crash test dummy! Well, perhaps not just yet data can be measured, which can be used to compute
is the latest version of the as the world of vehicle safety engineering is injury criteria, which are then used to evaluate
digital dummy and integrates not in a position to acclaim accession of the human probabilities of human injuries. So data from
282 muscles with a v3 THUMS computer model (HCM) following the demise of the ATDs is very useful. And since the late 1990s
human model. Image: Toyota ATD. But Dr Christophe Bastien, principal lecturer there has been a reduction in deaths [in car crashes
Central R&D Labs, Inc. in engineering simulations at Coventry University, in Europe]. While the ‘ribs’ in a crash dummy will
UK, is adamant that while HCMs are not exactly the deflect, they won’t break. But a rib breaking in a
MAIN: Frenchman Christophe final nail in the coffin of crash test dummies, they human can puncture a lung or cause other serious
Bastien has worked at Matra, certainly are a significant nail. “Current driver safety injuries. So crash test dummy data is helpful,
MSX International and Corus. He tests use crash test dummies that do not include the but you can’t see what’s happened inside… I still
has filed 19 patents in the area of ‘human’ element. They are passive,” he says. believe that to develop a new car you need crash
vehicle and highway engineering “Crash test dummies do not have any muscles, test dummies and physical tests. What is important
safety and is currently working hence they cannot tense. Nor can they brace is that crash test dummies offer repeatability. You
toward his PhD in human safety themselves against a steering wheel, or twist their can get the same results in China or Japan as you
biomechanics at Coventry bodies in reaction to a car swerving or braking. Their can here, so there is a good chance that you’ll get
stiff build means that they do not have the adequate the same answers. To get rid of this very useful
biomechanics to replicate spine and neck flexibility tool it would, in the short term, take a very
under low levels of braking deceleration. They are courageous person. In the long term? Well, I think
also unidirectional, which means that they are not it’s possible. But I think it will take more than 10
suitable to replicate complex combinations of frontal years to happen.”
and lateral vehicle emergency motions.”
Not that Bastien, who has spent his career working Bastien believes that simulation is a nail in the
in occupant safety, both for industry and academia, coffin of ATDs, but by no means the final nail, and
is anti-ATDs. “Having crash test dummies is good in the coming 10 to 15 years there are going to be
“incredible developments”.

010 Crash Test Technology International


011Crash Test Technology International




Blue horizon Paulo Vidal
Ford in Dearborn shoots past the 20,000 McLaren’s vehicle safety
crash test milestone and increases manager reveals how the
its crash computing power by 50% supercar maker tests its
carbon-fiber monocoques

Fiat safety center

An exclusive tour of the Orbassano
complex and insight into its future plans

Calspan reborn

NHTSA research and new equipment is
behind a renaissance at this historic facility

The latest crash test technology How the latest generation
awaiting visitors to Automotive of active human models could
Testing Expo North America revolutionize crash testing

Visit to
request exclusive and rapid information

about the latest technologies and
services featured in this issue


“At the moment, HCMs are new, and are Citizens of the (virtual) world
challenged by the industry. But what we are looking
at is the next step in vehicle safety. Crash test The HUMOS (HUman MOdel GHBMC (Global Human Body
dummies and humans are two different beasts. You for Safety) project, dating back Models Consortium) is a human
can’t break a dummy! After a crash test you simply to 1997 and sponsored by the EU, model born from an international
take out the ATD and clean it up. But a crash test has involved several partners from consortium of auto makers and
with a human is not feasible.” the automotive industry, research suppliers working with research
institutes, universities and software institutes and government agencies
For Bastien, this is frustrating: “Some work providers. The first HUMOS finite to advance human body modeling
nearly 10 years ago under a European funded project element model was released in 2001. (HBM) technologies for crash
suggested that there was almost no correlation Almost immediately, work started simulations. The objective is to
between accidents in which humans were involved on HUMOS 2 – an improved model consolidate worldwide HBM R&D
and crash test dummies. One of the problems arises – which was released in 2006 into a single global effort. Its mission
from the fact that head-injury data from an ATD together with an associated scaling is to develop and maintain high-
can be measured and categorized as non-fatal, while tool and positioning tool. Bastien fidelity FE human body models for
a human, involved in a similar accident, where says this is an important model, but crash simulations.
similar values might have been recorded, could die likely to be discontinued.
20 or 30 days after the crash from deterioration in Currently, the most-used HCM is
their condition.” THUMS – Total HUman Model for
Safety – whose development also
What is driving Bastien’s passion to use simulation started in 1997 as a joint venture
is the increase in onboard driver aids, such as between the JSOL Corporation
collision-avoidance systems, that enable the vehicle and Toyota. Since then, there
to automatically initiate a reaction to a potential have been four major updates.
collision. This reaction can cause the driver and With v4 (released last year) it
passengers to react. For example, they might tense is possible to simulate not only
up or brace themselves, thereby rendering themselves bone fracture and internal organ
very ‘different’ to what ATDs try to emulate. “Also, injuries, but also head injuries.
if you are out of position and your posture is not as High-resolution CT scans were
per the crash test dummy, that’s where you’ve got used to accurately represent the
problems [with the data from ATDs].” geometry of the human body and
the internal organs.
And while he argues that with simulation Active THUMS (v5, beta
appropriate changes can be made to models to development) has 282 integrated
accommodate people out of position and/or their muscles. Each muscle is a hybrid
‘acceptable’ movements within the car – reaching model of bar elements with active
for controls or, for passengers, using a mobile phone properties, and solid elements with
– Bastien says there are limits as to what engineers passive properties. It features
should feel morally responsible to cover. Trying to sliding interfaces of bone-to-muscle
accommodate what he calls “the seriously stupid” and muscle-to-muscle.
– those passengers who put their feet on the
dashboard, for instance – is certainly beyond RIGHT: THUMS – originally you could literally be reading your newspaper on the
the limit… developed by Toyota and JSOL move, or having breakfast or perhaps a meeting with
– is the most-used HCM. Image: other people. That could become the norm. In crash
However, he is concerned that much will need Toyota Central R&D Labs, Inc. tests the impact is directional – the ATDs are facing
to be done when the prototype autonomous vehicles forward. But in an autonomous car, what’s to say that
breaking cover today become common-place BELOW: The kinematics of
everyday transport. They might well be designed a multibody human model
not to crash. But what if a vehicle crashes into them? are illustrated in this Coventry
“The environment is going to change and the use of University simulation of a 25mph
vehicles is going to change. In an autonomous vehicle unbelted impact using the
MADYMO active human model

013Crash Test Technology International


Ghostly presence

A crash-test alternative to ATDs is the cadaver. For Bastien, cadavers
present a number of issues, one of which is ethics. “But if you put
ethics to one side, the main problem is the repeatability of the test,” he says,
“because of the diversity of properties of biological tissues, among many
more parameters. And there is the question of how people react just before
an impact. Live people will brace themselves. A cadaver test gives you the
results of just one person and one who doesn’t react...
“With a computer model of a human being, you are able to change some
strategic parameters. So a cadaver test is not very useful scientifically,
although it would be interesting and I’d love to do one to research further the
spread of human trauma responses. But I have discounted them.” However,
he is in discussion with a French laboratory to see if it would be possible to
compare the Hybrid III and THOR responses with a cadaver.

the front seats can’t be rotated to face Simulation of muscular effects and there are more older drivers on the road and we
those in the back so that a meeting on injury outcomes using Active need to be able to engineer vehicle safety that
can take place while on the move?” THUMS. TOP RIGHT: Cadaveric is effective for the widest possible range
case – relaxed muscle activity of drivers.
Linked to this, he points out that (less than 1%) without brake “For me, the fascination and the beauty of
in a Hybrid III dummy, the neck is deceleration of 0.7g. ABOVE:
straight and the impact load is applied Active case – braced muscle this is the challenge of the contribution to society
in one axis. “But in humans, the neck activity (20-60%) with brake that going beyond what is known now will offer.
tends to be slightly S-shaped and deceleration of 0.7g
this can be represented in a human We must embrace it because autonomous vehicles
computer model. What’s more, because BELOW: Active THUMS can be will save lives – but only if the people inside
I am a different shape to you, we used to simulate braking and are fully protected.”
could scan both of us so that we steering motions. All images: When the potential costs of developing
are represented as individuals.” Toyota Central R&D Labs, Inc. and using human computer models
are taken into account, Bastien says his
At the moment there are two main view is simplistic: “If you save the lives
categories of human model: passive of two or three people, and you’ve spent
models (inert, like an ATD) and active all that money [to do so], it’s money well
models (with reflexes and bracing behaviors). The spent. Statistics on vehicle accident fatalities,
passive models available are the HUMOS 2 (Human per billion kilometers traveled, show that we still
Model for Safety), THUMS (v4) and GHBMC (Global
Human Body Models Consortium), which contain have a lot of people to save. Every year, two million
a skeleton with detailed organs for which trauma people around the world are killed or seriously
assessment is possible. Active models – MADYMO injured from car-related accidents… And if we make
Active Human Model and THUMS (v5 beta cars for China, for instance, with safety standards
development) – are based on ‘organ-less’ skeletal designed for Europeans, it’s not very helpful because
human architecture, which provides good occupant the vast majority of China’s 1.2 billion people are a
kinematics computation, but is not adequate for different stature to Europeans. With HCMs we can
organ trauma assessment. The next development, engineer car safety systems to suit people of different
says Bastien, is to combine physiological human shapes and sizes, as well as taking into account the
models (skeleton and organs) with the active/ gender aspect and pre-medical conditions (implants,
cognitive model. One hurdle to be overcome for for example). And in the future, why not safety
widespread use of such a model is limited computing systems that can identify the shape, size and
power. However, he believes that within five years weight of vehicle occupants, and deploy accordingly
such limitations will be a thing of the past. In in a crash?
the meantime, the current computer models are
providing interesting information and illustrating the “For me, the WorldSID ATD is a good dummy
way that future ‘crash testing’ could go, especially and a useful tool. But is it valid for the entire world?
when the responses of human models are compared Future vehicles should be engineered for humans –
with the responses of ATDs. not for crash test dummies! We are the new kids on
the block – but we are serious.” ‹
With strong relationships with many OEMs and
other organizations working on vehicle safety (some
of the people in these teams are his former students),
Bastien is optimistic that good progress will be
made toward greater use of HCMs. “This is a magical
moment in vehicle safety. We need to embrace new
solutions. But these models are so complicated that
it’s not about one person doing it. It’s about teaming
up, putting in money and working together to
understand how they work. It has to be a global
effort. This is a turning point and we need to embrace
it because, in the end, the population is getting older

014 Crash Test Technology International

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• Only minor


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New world

The WorldSID will make history as the first
regulation anthropomorphic manikin with
in-dummy data acquisition systems

The WorldSID (World Side Impact Dummy) ABOVE: Up to 160 channels following a few years later. They have since
crash test dummy represents a major step of in-dummy DAS designed by undergone years of continuous development, testing
in unifying regulations on a global level DTS fit inside the WorldSID 50th and refinement. WorldSID is expected to go into
for the automotive crash test industry by allowing regulation in the next one to two years, and will be
a single, universally accepted test device to be the first dummy designed for worldwide regulation
used for side impact testing around the world. The testing and with in-dummy DAS standard.
combined efforts of one ISO task group, 10 countries,
45 organizations, 1,000 tests and about US$16m, Crash test dummies have been around for a long
have created the world’s most biofidelic side impact time; the first was used more than 100 years ago
crash test dummy. The WorldSID 50th (average male) in Paris, France. However, mainstream crash test
and 5th (small female) have far-reaching ramifications dummies really evolved in 1949 when ‘Sierra Sam’,
not only for car manufacturers and test engineers to created by Sierra Engineering, became the first
produce safer vehicle designs, but for the ultimate modern production anthropomorphic test device
goal of reducing injuries in side impact crashes. (ATD) developed for aircraft ejection-seat testing.
Developing the WorldSID has been a slow,
uphill road that has steadily driven the automotive Vehicle crash test dummies were the next step,
crash test industry forward to setting universal test and it was agreed that a single test dummy was not
standards. In the early 1980s, the USA developed a enough. This led to the development of different
side impact dummy dubbed USSID. Following that, types and sizes of dummies, as well as different
Europe designed its own version called EuroSID types of tests. As a result, frontal crash tests require
and then a second generation, EuroSID2. The
challenge for any car manufacturer selling globally
was that they had to go through two different,
time-consuming and costly testing processes – one
using the USSID and another with the EuroSID.
Car companies and the test world came together
to unify efforts and in 1997 an official ISO WorldSID
Task Group was established to create the first side
impact dummy that would be accepted for use in
impact testing for any regulation around the world.
Two years later, Diversified Technical Systems (DTS)
– a recognized leader in data acquisition systems
(DAS) for crash test applications – was awarded the
data acquisition contract for WorldSID and became
part of creating the new standard, which included
data recorders inside the dummy (in-dummy DAS).
DTS co-founder and company president, Steve Pruitt,
remembers those days clearly. “DTS pushed the
importance of making WorldSID with in-dummy
DAS from the beginning,” he recalls. “It just didn’t
make sense to develop a new dummy that wasn’t
forward-thinking, only to have to retrofit it later for
in-dummy DAS.”
The first production WorldSID 50th system was
completed in March 2003, with the first WorldSID 5th

016 Crash Test Technology International


a specific type of dummy, the Hybrid III; for side TDAS G5 can be used in the same test setup – both TOP: DTS TDAS G5 data
impacts, there is the new WorldSID; and a variety meeting ISO requirements. acquisition system, shown in
of component parts such as leg- and headforms the spine box of the WorldSID
are launched into the front bumper and hood of a DTS also offers a third in-dummy DAS solution for 50th, is the first in-dummy
car to simulate pedestrian injuries. The family of WorldSID and other dummies. Unlike the centralized DAS designed and specified
dummies includes average to large males, females, modules, SLICE NANO is miniature, three- to for a regulation test dummy
children and even dummies simulating pregnant 24-channel blocks that are distributed throughout ABOVE: DTS offers three
females. A single dummy may take anywhere the dummy. For pedestrian testing, SLICE NANO is in-dummy DAS options: the
from 15 to 20 years to develop. the most widely used embedded DAS in free-motion new 36-channel SLICE G5
headforms and in the Flexible Pedestrian Legform DAS; the original 32-channel
Originally cumbersome and limited to a Impactor (Flex-PLI) that fits up to 48 SLICE channels. TDAS G5 DAS; and SLICE
single test measurement, crash test dummies NANO three-channel blocks
have evolved into sophisticated test equipment The impact of a universal dummy with embedded
capable of repeatability and true biofidelity. DAS cannot be understated. Currently, there EXHIBITOR
Today’s dummy is instrumented with an average are nearly 50 WorldSIDs in use in nine different
of 64-100 channels and WorldSID is designed countries with DTS DAS. DTS is also working
for up to 160 channels of DAS inside the dummy. on a new military in-dummy solution designed
A full-scale crash test may involve up to 500 specifically to quantify underbody blast exposure,
instrumented channels including vehicle, something the current side or frontal impact
dummies and test fixtures. dummies were not designed to do. The Warrior
Injury Assessment Manikin is in the beginning
Traditionally, each sensor embedded inside a phase and has an estimated development time of
test dummy requires a wire that is connected to two to three years for delivery of the first prototype.
an external data recorder. In the early days when
there were only a few sensors and cables, it was WorldSID provides a successful model that will
a relatively easy task. Today’s high-channel count serve the automotive testing community well into
tests require serious cable management to deal the future, with global cooperation a clear advantage
with the massive bundle of wires that can affect to continued improvement in occupant safety
test results and reduce repeatability. technology worldwide. ‹

As the first regulation dummy with in-dummy FURTHER DETAILS 501
DAS, WorldSID gives new meaning to the term Diversified Technical Systems
‘plug and play’. DTS’s vision of a better way To learn more about this advertiser,
resulted in development of the TDAS G5 DAS, the please visit
first data recorder designed to fit inside a dummy
as part of a regulation standard (ISO 15830). ONLINE READER INQUIRY NUMBER

DTS and the ISO Task Group ultimately
decided on a compact, high-channel-count
data recorder designed to fit in the chest, pelvis
and legs of WorldSID, all without disturbing
the critical dummy CG (center of gravity). The
low-mass, low-power, 32-channel TDAS G5 is
capable of measuring up to 100,000 data samples
per second for each sensor in the WorldSID or
any dummy with in-dummy DAS. Both WorldSID
50th and 5th use the same TDAS G5 in-dummy
DAS technology.

“TDAS G5 dramatically changed the scope of
testing by making in-dummy DAS part of the ISO
specifications, and bringing the world of testing
to a higher level of sophistication,” says Pruitt. “In
a typical vehicle testing scenario where advanced
test preparation can consume a week, cutting
down that time by eliminating cables becomes a
real benefit. It also removes potential inaccuracies
caused by cable weight.”

TDAS G5 is the leading in-dummy DAS
solution around the world, even before WorldSID
officially goes into regulation, plus DTS is already
introducing the next generation called SLICE
G5. Designed to both replace and work with
the standard TDAS G5 DAS, the new SLICE G5
DAS has the same dimensions and mass as TDAS
G5, but includes 36 channels, sampling rates
up 200,000 samples per second and 32GB
of direct-write flash memory to securely store
all data in real time. SLICE G5 uses the same
WorldSID mounts, and both SLICE G5 and

017Crash Test Technology International


RIGHT: Christopher
O’Connor with a
Humanetics dummy

Crash dummy


Humanetics’ president and CEO, Christopher J O’Connor,
speaks to CTTI about the upcoming obese and elderly dummies

What are your corporate priorities for What are the latest technologies, operational
Humanetics? improvements or products that Humanetics
is developing?
Our mission at Humanetics is to uphold our
global commitment within the occupant safety test Humanetics has invested in significant operational
and measurement community for the development of improvements that are currently yielding great
safer vehicles, ultimately saving lives. In recent years, customer satisfaction feedback. These improvements
traffic fatalities in the USA have not seen appreciable include significant reductions in lead time delivery of
reductions compared with the improvements seen our dummies, and making frequently requested spare
over the past six decades. There are roughly 92 parts immediately available at our service centers
highway deaths every day within the USA, which worldwide. For example, many of our customers
has plateaued in the last few years. This is concerning are receiving critical spare parts that exist in our
not only to Humanetics, but to the whole occupant inventory in less than five days, where historically
safety community. To help promote safer vehicle it took on average five times longer for these
designs, Humanetics, as a premier provider of human components. In addition, Humanetics has recently
simulation crash test dummies, continues with its hired over 100 new employees worldwide to
mission to develop more sophisticated test devices accelerate the development and production of
for the future. multiple new dummies like the WorldSID 50th,
WorldSID 5th, Flex-PLI (Flexible Pedestrian Legform
In recent years, Humanetics has invested millions Impactor), Q-series child dummies, and THOR 50th.
of dollars in R&D, operational improvements and
advanced engineered products, to produce the next Humanetics has also been focusing efforts on
level of more biofidelic ATDs for our customers developing future new products such as the obese
worldwide. Our customers, including government and elderly crash test dummies, as well as the THOR
agencies and insurance institutes, use our ATDs in 5th dummy, which will be available for evaluation
their test evaluation to promote safer vehicles. within the next 12 months.

018 Crash Test Technology International


We are also researching laboratory testing comprehensive history of crash test dummies and
practices to enhance and complement dummy their role in the safety industry since the beginning
certification protocols furnished by the government of human transportation. Rare and fascinating
and the SAE community. We hope to encourage images, many never published before, combine
global awareness of certification test variability with stories from industry experts detailing the
within our industry and support consistent best inspiration, development and manufacturing of
practices. Narrowing performance variability and these devices.
harmonizing product has been an ongoing obligation
for Humanetics. More recently, Humanetics and its affiliated
companies partnered with Golden Gate
Why are you developing an obese dummy? Capital, a leading investment firm with
What is the significance? extensive experience in the technology and
Obese occupants are up to 78% more likely to die in industrial sectors. As a result of the partnership,
a car crash than an average weight driver. Having a Humanetics will continue to expand its safety
body mass index (BMI) of 35-39.9 increases your risk and sensor businesses outside the automotive
of death by 51%. We are working on an obese crash marketplace and expand in such sectors as
test dummy that weighs 123kg and is capable of medical, oil and gas, industrial, and aerospace.
measuring belt and airbag loads generated from Currently, 25% of our safety sensor business is
heavier occupants during crash events. The initial in these markets.
prototype dummy was made available in August
2014 for sled evaluations. Collaborating universities “All potential acquisitions must support
and companies will continue evaluations in the later our overall mission of improving safety,
part of 2014. comfort and protection of people and
their environment”
What about the elderly dummy?
Elderly occupants are statistically more likely to be Do you have any expansion plans in terms ABOVE: Hybrid III
seriously injured in any given accident and sustain of different markets/regions? 50th percentile dummy
injuries and die in low-impact crashes than younger
occupants. At crash speeds of only 31mph (50km/h), Our principal goal is to continue to increase our
the risk of sustaining a serious injury for elderly current business by acquiring companies that
occupants increases dramatically. A 50-year-old complement and broaden our existing portfolio by
female has a 19% risk of serious injury in a frontal expanding our product lines and emerging into new
crash and an 80-year-old female has a 40% risk. markets. Through our holding company, Safety
Humanetics is developing an elderly ATD and Technology Holdings (STH), we intend to make
plans to collaborate with universities and interested acquisitions that will not only support the
industry groups to expedite the availability of this growth of our existing test equipment, sensor
product for testing and to provide an important test and finite element modeling businesses,
device for our safety community. but also to expand into complementary
segments such as data acquisition,
Are these automotive fatalities unique to the testing and certification services,
USA, Europe or other specific geographical and life sciences and diagnostics. All
regions? potential acquisitions must support
Approximately 1.24 million people die each year our overall mission of improving safety,
as a result of road traffic crashes, according to the comfort and protection of people and their
World Health Organization. And 91% of the world’s environment. Humanetics is a safety company and
automobile fatalities on the roads occur in low- will always remain a safety company. With today’s
and middle-income countries, even though these ever-changing business marketplace, expanding our
countries have only half of the world’s vehicles. operations to include the world’s most technologically
Humanetics has a strong global commitment to help advanced safety products is something we will
save lives and reduce these statistics with over 85% of continue to do. It is important to us to drive safety
our ATD products delivered to customers outside the with our customers worldwide and incorporate the
USA. All vehicle occupants are not made the same latest, cutting-edge technology that brings safety to a
size; thus a standard Hybrid 50th percentile dummy whole new level. ‹
is not adequate for vehicular occupants of all shapes
and sizes. Children, obese and elderly test devices FURTHER DETAILS 502
are necessary to represent the world’s diverse Humanetics
population more realistically and thus address the To learn more about this advertiser,
increased injury and elevated death rates for these please visit:
special occupants.
What else has been happening at
Humanetics since 2013?
Several months ago, Humanetics published a book
entitled The Humanetics Story: An Illustrated History
of the Crash Test Dummy. The story contains the

019Crash Test Technology International

of Italy

020 Crash Test Technology International


Ongoing investments at Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles’ Orbassano Safety Center
are further enhancing its crash test
capabilities. We take an exclusive tour


Real-world compatibility Fiat’s Orbassano Safety Center opened
crash testing of a Fiat 500 its doors in 1976. Full-scale crash testing
and a Giulietta. For an EU had started even earlier at an airport near
and US program Fiat typically its headquarters in Mirafiori, Italy, with vehicle
performs around 130 crashes. movements remote-controlled by helicopter. Together
This number increases when with the facilities at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’
there are many different (FCA) Chelsea proving ground in Michigan,
variants to be tested the center serves the safety testing needs for all
worldwide FCA R&D centers.
It covers an indoor area of 18,000m2 and consists
of five main testing areas, with 154 engineers
and research analysts working across the various
departments. These teams support the safety
development and legal certification of all vehicles
developed in the EMEA region, with strong
support for the Asia-Pacific and Latin America
developed vehicles.
Our exclusive tour of the safety center begins
in the mechanical and electronics setup workshop
where electronic and dummy equipment is prepared
for a crash. “Because of the high level of stiffness
of recent cars, the same vehicle can be crashed up
to four times (front, side left and side right, rear)
without losing test significance,” notes Enrico
Becchio, manager of the safety center.
The final phase of vehicle setup before a crash
is done by static vehicle measurements where the
positions of more than 100 points are recorded
before and after the crash in order to obtain a detailed
intrusion profile. This task is accomplished by the
Aicon-supplied optical measurement system inside
the static measurement chamber: “Three calibrated
walls surrounding the vehicle are covered in
hundreds of targets, each one different from
the other,” he says. “In this way the back of the
measuring probe can take a photo of the wall so that
the control system, which has stored the position of
each different wall target, can calculate the position
of the measuring point in respect to an undeformed
part of the vehicle with an accuracy of 0.2mm.”
The system dramatically increases the speed and
quality of the measurement, enabling Fiat to fully
measure four vehicles per day. “With a traditional
mechanical arm it could take more than a day to
measure one vehicle,” says Becchio.
Passing through to the component lab we can
see both the old and new passive safety test rigs on
display. A team of around 10 people is based here,
where all component tests required by different
worldwide legislation can be performed.

021Crash Test Technology International


The current head pendulum and bodyblock Central to Fiat’s safety testing is the pedestrian lab, ABOVE LEFT: Fiat’s static
measurement chamber. There is
bench is an MTS system; it will be joined by which has become particularly important in recent also an EME-supplied Nano DAS
and 31 onboard DAS with 1,592
a BIA test rig by the end of 2014. Explains Becchio, years; the first ever Europe pedestrian homologation total channels – 535 on dummies

“On these benches it is possible to change the impactor session was run on the Fiat Punto in 2005. RIGHT: A 2 metric ton pendulum
for new testing regulations on
shape to dynamically test many other vehicle Here, the older TRL leg impactor used for EU big trucks (R29/03) was recently
installed adjacent to the outdoor
subsystems, for example airbag and door trim, in type approvals is joined by a new Flex-PLI leg full-scale crash facility

order to measure the transient dynamic stiffnesses.” impactor that was adopted by Euro NCAP in 2013 INFORMATION
The current, locally supplied static roof and door and will be required by legislation in Japan in
• Fiat runs two
crush test rig will also be joined by a more powerful the near future. Becchio says, “The new impactor crashes a day on
one shift, or three
system by 2015. “The machine will be able to is much more complex. It is built up of many crashes per day with
two shifts partially
statically press, with a full-scale range, well above interconnected extensometers that measure the overlapped

the current 5 metric tons, the A-pillar/cantilever bending torques at various leg z sections and • The preparation
time for a vehicle
roof intersection and the side doors.” With the same two potentiometers to measure the elongation varies from two
days to seven days,
piece of equipment, Fiat also runs many other static of the knee ligament’s surrogates.” according to test
type and vehicle
development tests such as lower dashboard knee The hood’s leading edge is tested through a level maturity

impact zone stiffness, longitudinal door and A-pillar linearly guided impactor that records loads and • Each test typically
involves at least
stiffness, B-pillar deformation hinges, etc. bending torque. The hood and rear part of the five engineers for
test analysis and
front of vehicle are around 10 for
test preparation
“It is possible to change the impactor also verified against the and post-crash
deceleration measured operations

shape to dynamically test subsystems by a free-flying headform • In a very complex
impacting at up to test, engineers could
acquire up to 150
such as airbag and door trim” 40km/h. Two different channels of data
headforms (3.5kg and
• Around 2,000
Enrico Becchio, manager of the Orbassano Safety Center, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles 4.5kg) are used to take component tests
into account child and take place each year

Also housed here is an internally built drop tower adult impacts. • The facility is
generally fully
used to verify the correct deformation sequences A recently acquired BIA bench tests the energy saturated by internal
requirements, so
and energy absorption capability of structural absorption capability of a vehicle’s upper interior tests are rarely run
for a third party
components with an input energy up to 40,000J – according to the FMVSS 201. In this test, a free-flying

for example, a maximum speed of 40km/h (nearly 4.5kg headform is launched at 19-24km/h against

7m of freefall) with an impacting mass of 600kg. inner A-pillar, B-pillar, roof liner, sun visor and roof

Finally, belt anchorage pulling tests will be cover. Becchio notes the resulting thicker trim that

conducted by a new Bosch Rexroth system that is typically features on US-market vehicles, and says

due by the end of the year. Becchio says, “We use that this is one area where a harmonization of

these to test the load that each single belt attachment worldwide crash test standards would be helpful.

point and Isofix anchorage (on the body or on the Also in this area are a static seat deflection

bench supplied by Aries and an internally built
seats) can sustain, according to ECE R14, FMVSS 210 static rollover system. A static force-deflection
and FMVSS 223.”
bench was acquired in 2012 for testing components
We also have a clear view here of the rest
of up to 1,000kg. This, along with a small drop
area for Fiat’s moveable impact block that is used
tower, were acquired from HITEC.
in the full-scale arena. There are cable traces on
“The drop tower is used to dynamically
the floor that guide the 97.25 metric ton block along characterize materials and subcomponents, which
a predetermined path.
is very useful for the correct definition of FEM

023Crash Test Technology International


calculation models for new and lightweight TOP: The just-crashed car park The facility was designed and installed by
materials,” Becchio elaborates, “for example the can accommodate up to around Messring: “We were very happy with the job
very new NETShape plastic energy absorption 800 vehicles they did!” Becchio reports.
array used to replace the conventional EPP foam
for under-bumper pedestrian protection that you ABOVE: Fiat has in total 11 child, High-speed camera equipment includes the
will find on the new Jeep Renegade.” two female 5th percentile, 11 HG100K, Y5, NX4S3 and X-VIT, supplied by Red
male 50th percentile, two male Lake and AOS Technologies. There’s also a High-S-
Next, we have the opportunity to view some 95th percentile, two BioRID, six LIGHT 4,000W boost 8,000W lighting system from
of Fiat’s facilities for biomechanical testing. The EuroSID, two SID IIs and one KHS Technical Lighting. On the left of the track sits
eight-year-old impact sled, which was originally WorldSID dummy the new pulling trolley, which weighs just 2kg and
supplied by HYGE and upgraded by Instron, can be disengaged only a few centimeters before
is to be replaced in 2015 by a new system that the impact point with no influence on speed and
will be able to test the dynamic pitch and yaw overlap accuracy.
of a vehicle. “We haven’t yet decided on a supplier;
however we know we want to be able to run sled He briefly stops to show us the electronic
tests incorporating these particular parameters, in instrumentation installed in the test that we witness
order to fully reproduce the full-scale impact.” later on. This includes all the sensors and cables
(either from a dummy or from sensors installed on
In the same area of the building is the dummy the vehicle) to the data acquisition system that is
calibration room and what Becchio refers to as “the triggered, together with the cameras, by a simple
dummy hospital”. Here are all the benches needed electric stripe that activates as soon as the forward
to calibrate the dummies, except for the BioRID point of the vehicle contacts the barrier.
and the WorldSID dummy, for which the calibration
procedure is not yet fully defined. There’s also a head Moving toward the impact point, we discover the
calibration table and other pendulums for different different trolleys available and the Messring-supplied,
body segments. Among the newest dummies at the 5 x 5 x 2.4m barrier that is used for all kinds of
center are the 18-month and three-year-old dummies crashes – in a frontal crash the vehicle moves and
of the recent Q-family, which are currently only the barrier is anchored to the floor, while for side and
adopted by Euro NCAP. rear impacts the barrier is moved in the rest area and
a trolley runs against the stationary vehicle.
The centerpiece of the entire center, and one
of the last stops on our tour, is the 120m-long Above the block there is a moveable, high-power,
full-scale crash area, which was completely 100kW low-temperature light cluster and a three-axis
renewed in 2010; the original test track built in system that can move up to 14 cameras. Once the
1975 is still visible. The state-of-the-art facility cameras are positioned for a given vehicle and a given
can test vehicles up to 2,500kg at 100km/h with an crash configuration, this position is stored and can
overlap and speed accuracy below 0.5%. Maximum later be recalled for a second test, saving time and
acceleration of 1.5m/sec2 at 29 ±0.5km/h is required improving the repeatability of the camera views, thus
for the Euro NCAP pole test and for the TRIAS 47 increasing the quality of the analysis.
frontal collision test – a maximum acceleration of
4.9m/sec2 at 50km/h. Also supplied by Messring is the 6m-deep film
pit that enables Fiat to view the underbody of a
In a virtual world systems of the vehicle,” he explains. vehicle in any kind of test. A control room completes
For this, it uses LS-Dyna codes the picture.
In addition to physical safety supported by LS-OPT software
testing, the Orbassano Safety (also supplied by LS-Dyna) to Note that, while there is the capacity to test
Center has responsibility for virtual guarantee the design robustness. electric and hybrid vehicles in the indoor facility, Fiat
validation and restraint systems plans to replace the existing outdoor test base with
(seatbelt, airbag, child seat) The second team located in a new full-scale facility for the testing of hybrid and
development. Safety center manager the Pomigliano technical center electric vehicles as well as for performing angular
Enrico Becchio (pictured) says, focuses on multibody simulation car-to-car tests. ‹
“This means that the involvement in to specify the right integration of
product development starts from the the interior restraint systems (bags,
early, advanced engineering phase, belt, dashboard, steering column,
and runs through to the final physical etc) in order to properly control
verification and certification stage.” the biomechanical responses
in front, side, rear and rollover
Two teams specialize crashes. For this purpose, it runs
in simulation. “The the MADYMO software package
supported by modeFRONTIER
first team deals from Esteco for extended virtual
primarily with design of experiments.
finite element
calculation to Major investments made in the
guide the design 2000s in the virtual test facilities
and detailed at Fiat, have enabled it to validate
engineering the safety performance of the
whole vehicle virtually before
of all the commissioning production tooling.
and the

024 Crash Test Technology International

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[email protected] [email protected]


In stehaet hot
A new child seat test facility will enable Chinese manufacturers to develop,
test and certify their products more quickly than sending them to Europe


TOP: A TRL expert providing A three-year collaboration between the rail-guided impact sled based on TRL’s own impact
IQTC engineers with essential Inspection and Quarantine Technology sled facility. The rig runs along a 20m track and
child seat installation training Center (IQTC) in Guandong, China and is accelerated by TRL’s bungee propulsion system.
TRL, the UK’s Transportation Research Laboratory, According to TRL, the patented configuration
ABOVE: The impact sled system focuses on enabling Chinese manufacturers to of the propulsion system provides lower initial
supplied to IQTC in China develop and certify their child seats more quickly acceleration, higher stored energy and greater
than they are currently able to. More broadly, speed accuracy than a conventional bungee system.
the initiative also intends to improve the safety The rig’s rigid structure can react to deceleration
of children in vehicles throughout China. forces during impact.
As part of the collaboration, TRL recently installed
a state-of-the-art child seat test facility at the IQTC, High-intensity discharge lamps manufactured by
investment for which totaled approximately US$1m. ARRI were supplied. TRL’s senior project manager,
The government-owned agency is responsible for Helen Cotton, says of the lighting, “It’s a very good
assessing the quality of various products entering and system that doesn’t give off too much heat, which is
leaving the Chinese market. For child seats, there is a huge factor when you’re testing. It provides a good
no mandatory standard in China; however, a voluntary amount of light but doesn’t interfere with the heat
standard, which was created in September 2013, properties of the items that are being tested.”
will become mandatory in September of this year.
The facility, for which installation began in Data acquisition equipment was supplied
November 2013, measures 30 x 12m. It houses a by USA-based DTS, and high-speed cameras by
Olympus. Coupled with this, video analysis software
called Pro Analyst was supplied by Xcitex.

027Crash Test Technology International


A bespoke control system consisting of a personal ABOVE: Overview of the sled
computer with touch panel and an operator interface facility. TRL has also sold an
in a Windows environment, was designed by TRL. entire turnkey bespoke system
“It has all the various input parameters needed to in Japan to Car Mate
run the rig, including ambient temperatures and
humidity, operator identification, test type, test RIGHT: IQTC specialists receive
conditions, functionality control, features of the P-series dummy training
sled and remote capture of facility conditions. That’s
all connected to bespoke sensors, which measure UK for three weeks to shadow some of the different
velocity, calculate the release position, the release types of testing that we do here. Once the rig was
force and the maximum intrusion of the test piece,” commissioned, we checked it was giving the same
explains Cotton. “It’s backed up by a database, which results as our rig in the UK, and during that time
stores information every time a test is performed, to we had a number of IQTC engineers learning how to
help us fine-tune the parameters.” run the rig. We followed that up with on-site training
in China.”
TRL also supported the design of the building
and the infrastructure. According to Cotton, this task Although the three-year agreement between TRL
was a particular challenge: “We had to understand and IQTC only concentrates on child seat testing,
the exact characteristics of their property. One of the system’s flexible configuration allows a variety of
the requirements of the system is a very solid impact different impact tests to be performed. Cotton notes,
head – a metallic structure with a mass of 6,000kg, “For the IQTC, we’ve only focused on child seats
which is anchored to purpose-designed foundations. initially, so we’ve provided two sleds – one for frontal
The foundations of the building itself contained impacts and one for side. But they wanted a future-
a steel structure, which interfered with where we proof rig that wouldn’t need a lot of updating, and
wanted to put the foundations of the rig. So we that they could use in future to test other automotive
had to raise the floor slightly in certain areas to components such as batteries or storage systems.
accommodate that. We had to be very careful because
as we raised the floor we were losing ceiling height, “With the recent appointment of Dinos Visvikis
and we needed the correct amount of height for the as the team leader for TRL’s Child Safety Centre,
crane, which is used to lift the sled off the rails. It we are expecting to grow and develop the Chinese
was also quite a challenge to fit the complete test market opportunities further while expanding our
facility design into the footprint of the property they relationship with IQTC.” ‹
had available.”

Around six experts will be based in the lab, all of
whom have received training from TRL in how to use
the system. “We had engineers from IQTC visit the

028 Crash Test Technology International


not a ower s


*design & manufacture of custom built passive safety test rigs

Universal Impact Test System for

-Active bonnet misuse
-Pedestrian protection
-Interior tests
-Ejection mitigation

High Dynamics Actuator for

-Components test
-Advanced Lateral Impact Simulation
-Simulation of complex crash pulses (sled)


cSrtaates-ohf-tchee-anrtt er
A new crash test center designed and installed by Messring at
CAERI in China houses several new, specialized test systems

Numerous developments in vehicle the requirements of modern vehicle technologies, the
safety are influenced by current NCAP or decision was made to build an entirely new facility.
NHTSA regulations and then realized and Following an open tender for the enormous crash
implemented by manufacturers and their suppliers. test facility and productive negotiations in February
The situation in China is similar, except that it’s not 2010, CAERI decided to commission the specialists
the rules and guidelines of the different associations from Messring with the realization of the project.
but several state authorities that are responsible for The contract with a world leader in the crash test
testing and the development of new protocols. This facilities segment reads as follows: the construction
takes place with unusual speed, parallel to the rapid of a testing center in which virtually all globally
economic growth of the People’s Republic of China. recognized automobile certification tests can be
The most important vehicle testing authorities in performed, including the installation of all necessary
China are CAERI (China Automotive Engineering system technologies and sensoring systems.
Research Institute) and CATARC (China Automotive
Technology and Research Center). Between 2010 Messring has built more than 100 crash test
and 2013, the German company Messring planned, facilities worldwide and 10 of these are based in
constructed and installed a crash test facility that China. Dierk Arp, CEO at Messring, says of the new
sets new global standards for CAERI, the institute facility, “Our counterparts at CAERI were so well
located in the Chinese city of Chongqing. CAERI prepared, even in the planning phase, that we were
was founded in 1965 and is responsible for all tests able to make them an offer perfectly tailored to meet
involving vehicle models (motorcycles, cars, buses their needs.”
and trucks). A further business segment is the
provision of its state-of-the-art crash test facilities Considering the dimensions of the facility on
for domestic auto makers such as BYD and Changan. its own, the project in Chongqing is unique. The
In 2009, after the old crash test facility in the city building containing the crash test facility has a gross
center of Chongqing had become much too small for floor space of 25,000m2, the acceleration track for
automobile tests has a length of 294m (200m is
roofed over and the rest is outdoors), and a second,

030 Crash Test Technology International


ABOVE: Messring supplied a
special dynamic rollover sled
for airbag and bodyshell testing
in multiple rollover situations

RIGHT: The 294m acceleration
track inside the center

ABOVE: Experts at CAERI LEFT: The new sled is powered extreme forces used in testing vehicles at Chongqing.
preparing a Car2Car crash test by a Messring electric motor The tolerance limits defined by CAERI during the
involving a school bus and a propulsion system approval and acceptance of the facility in May 2013
smaller truck directly above one were correspondingly tight. The maximum permitted
of the film pits variable-angle, oblique impact track was installed deviation in speed with the track system under full
that allows angle of incidence adjustments in load was only ±0.15km/h and the precision with
increments of 15° to the main acceleration track. which two test vehicles collide in Car2Car tests had
This permits the simulation of a broad spectrum to be within a maximum tolerance bandwidth of
of collision scenarios involving two vehicles. ±1cm. These values were met without any problems
and the facility was handed over and went into
“As a public institute, it is our responsibility operation on schedule.
to improve vehicle safety in China. The fact that we
saw all our criteria fulfilled in terms of the planning In addition to the sled and oblique impact
and construction of the facility was instrumental systems mentioned earlier, Messring supplied
in our decision to choose Messring,” says Xu Wei, several specialized sleds and numerous testing
a deputy director for vehicle safety at CAERI. components to complete the gigantic testing complex.
These are of particular importance to permit the
The sled system at CAERI is powered by two implementation of further, international, testing
electric propulsion systems, developed especially for procedures. One such example is the dynamic
use in crash tests. Together, the two electric motors rollover system for airbag and bodyshell testing
have a combined power rating of 2.4MW. This allows in multiple rollover situations – a US regulation
vehicles with overall weights of up to 5 metric tons from NHTSA. Here, a test vehicle is mounted
to be accelerated to a speed of 120km/h before they perpendicular to the direction of travel on a special
collide with the impact block. Even high-speed sled with variable angle options and is accelerated
crashes with 25 metric ton trucks and buses can to a speed of around 50km/h on the MicroTrack
be simulated with this system – a unique capability, system and then specifically braked by special,
offered only by the facility in China. laterally mounted, hydraulic dampers. At the moment
the sled is abruptly braked, the vehicle catapults
The forces released and transferred to the from the sledge and goes into a multiple rollover.
structure of the building during such tests are For safety reasons, all rollover tests are performed
immense. Here, with horizontal forces as high in the direction of the outdoor area and test vehicles
as 36MN working on the impact block at a height are catapulted out of the building.
of around 1m above floor level, conventional industry
standards soon lose their validity. Thanks to the Yue Zhong Yao, also a deputy director for vehicle
Messring engineers’ decades of experience in the safety at CAERI, is extremely satisfied with the
construction of crash test facilities, the CAERI facility completed project. “The collaboration with Messring
relies on specially constructed foundations that proved to be extremely positive and was characterized
dissipate the forces generated at the impact block by mutual respect,” he says. “The product of our
into the ground through a cleverly designed system. collaboration represents a milestone for CAERI and
the advancement of car safety throughout China.” ‹
Nevertheless, the complete facility must work with
exceptional precision, despite the high velocities and FURTHER DETAILS 503
To learn more about this advertiser,
please visit


031Crash Test Technology International

A decade ago, Calspan had lost its mojo. CTTI finds
out how developing unique expertise has revived a
long-established crash test institution


032 Crash Test Technology International


MAIN: This oblique test of The New York State-based Calspan
the 2013 Hyundai Elantra was Corporation has an illustrious history.
crashed with a 35% overlap It began life in 1940 as the research lab for
and a 15° angle as part of the the Curtiss Wright Aircraft Company, a company
NHTSA research program founded by the aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur
Wright, and Glenn Curtiss. In 1946, shortly after
LEFT AND BELOW: Calspan the end of World War II, Curtiss Wright donated
also performed the NHTSA this research facility to Cornell University. Cornell,
small overlap test on the Fiat 500 in turn, rebranded the lab as Cornell Aeronautical
Laboratory (CAL), an independent, applied research
For the next three decades, it stood at the
forefront of innovation in aerospace and ground
transportation, laying claims to developing, among
other things, the first crash test dummy in 1948
and the automobile seatbelt in 1951. By 1972, when
Cornell reorganized its lab as the profit-making
Calspan Corporation, it had become something of
a national institution.
The passion for research continued and positioned
Calspan well to support the very first New Car
Assessment Program (NCAP), created in 1979 by the
United States National Highway Traffic and Safety
Administration (NHTSA).
However, Calspan experienced a drop in its
reputation that a series of corporate owners – most
notably General Dynamics – struggled to overcome.
Louis Knotts, the current CEO, who joined the
company in 1981 as a test pilot, summed up
the prevailing feeling at the time: “We became
complacent, we lost our focus and our drive for
innovation.” In 2005, Knotts was a part of a small
group who bought Calspan and vowed to return
the company to its roots of research, testing and
innovation. This new leadership immediately
began to make the necessary personnel and facility
adjustments to rejuvenate Calspan.
As the business and confidence improved, new
equipment and infrastructure investments were
made. These included additional crash test dummies,
high-speed cameras from IDT and data-acquisition
systems from Kistler. Alongside its crash lab, the firm
offers a HYGE sled, two outdoor test tracks (one for

033Crash Test Technology International


vehicle testing, the other for barrier testing), and NHTSA oblique test was 2,205mm wide, 950mm high,
a crash dummy calibration lab. The crash lab itself 605mm deep and weighed 136kg.
contains a main hall for frontal- and side-impact The small overlap and oblique The test vehicle itself contained
work. Its tow facility packs a punch and can hit tests performed by Calspan two 50th percentile male THOR-NT
perimeter security barriers with a 6,900kg truck for NHTSA were complex and (Test device for Human Occupant
traveling at 50mph. data-intensive. They consisted of a Restraint) anthropomorphic test
developmental moving deformable devices with the modification kit
Another important step, in 2010, was hiring barrier – the oblique moving and Lx legs, multiple onboard
Jerry Goupil as its director of crash test operations. deformable barrier (OMDB) – which cameras and sensors – in total,
With 10 patents to his name and 20 years’ automotive traveled down the track at 90km/h some 288 sensor data channels
testing experience, the former Dunlop and Delphi into a highly instrumented test were recorded. The dummies were
engineer seems to fit the bill. “My experience vehicle. The OMDB weighed 2,500kg positioned according to the FMVSS
was working with OEMs; of running very detailed, and had coilover shock suspension. 208 seating procedure.
high-quality tests. Being a detail-focused person, but Mounted to its face was a large
more importantly being a customer-focused person, aluminum honeycomb barrier that
is what I brought to the table,” Goupil says.
NHTSA oblique test specification Rationale
His first challenge was to deliver a government Oblique
research contract. The research was prompted by Achieve 35mph Delta-V in average-mass
studies that showed that the deployment of seatbelts Barrier closing speed 56mph passenger car
and airbags was not enough to prevent fatalities
in many small-overlap and oblique crashes. Faced Overlap 35% Represent vehicle-to-vehicle test with 50%
with the alarming facts, NHTSA elected to work with overlap (engagement of one longitudinal rail)
Calspan to develop new test procedures. Angle relative to track 15°
Principal direction of force of 10-20° most
Goupil soon realized that the sophisticated prominent in field after full frontal
NHTSA-owned equipment, combined with Calspan’s
expertise, could attract additional business. Once that
project was completed, it began to run these same
tests for the OEMs. So, within the past year, some
of the largest car makers in the world have been
through Calspan’s doors.

“There are two major prongs to our approach,”
he explains. “One of them is partnering with OEMs,
some of which have their own crash labs and need a
quality independent lab for overflow work, others of
whom do not have a North American crash test lab.
The second is Calspan being an expert in running
these small-overlap and oblique crash tests (see

“The benefit to the OEMs is that tests can be
conducted that they cannot run themselves. What’s
more, these tests are an educational opportunity”

Jerry Goupil, director of crash test operations, Calspan

sidebar). Two components of the tests are unique; ABOVE: The OMDB barrier used to test just for the sake of running tests. We’re
one is the actual OMDB (oblique moving deformable for the NHTSA research project running a test to gather information to make
barrier), which Calspan helped design to its current decisions. We ask: if you were the engineer
status, and the other is the THOR-NT with the who needed this data, what are the things that
modification kit. This ATD’s availability is quite you’d be looking for? What are the questions
limited and relatively expensive. that you’d ask?”

“The benefit to the OEMs is that tests can be He predicts that keeping up with the evolving
conducted that they cannot run themselves. What’s technology being incorporated into vehicles will
more, these tests become an educational opportunity be the industry’s next challenge. “Vehicles are
since they’re not familiar with how the test is set evolving faster than the test methods that currently
up, the information that’s being gathered and how exist. Everybody’s trying hard to come up with
to process THOR’s sensor data. So, part of coming some kind of quality control. Adaptive headlights
to Calspan is the actual education and collaboration or blind-spot monitoring, because of their low
opportunity.” cost, are being adopted across car platforms.
For active safety systems like these there are a
Goupil is proud of the way Calspan has managed lot of ideas about how to run tests, but one of
to change its fortunes. “Our customers are amazed the big hurdles will be agreeing on universally
at how accommodating we are; how we see things accepted procedures.” ‹
through their eyes,” he enthuses. “We don’t want

034 Crash Test Technology International

Leader of Crash Safety Test Measurement Devices

The premier ATD manufacturer for the development of dummies used in government and
consumer advocacy group testing, certification corridor development and R&D, as well as computer
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We get exclusive insight into passive safety
development at supercar maker McLaren Automotive
from its vehicle safety manager, Paulo Vidal


MAIN: Paulo Vidal is in his As a road car manufacturer, McLaren Paulo Vidal is vehicle safety manager for McLaren
second spell at McLaren, having Automotive enjoys the halo of McLaren’s Automotive, with passive safety and certification
also worked in safety at Ford, F1 racing pedigree, shares its deep-rooted shaping his remit. In 1998 he was responsible for
Opel, VW and Aston Martin culture of constantly striving for perfection and has crash simulations on the Mercedes-Benz McLaren
almost unlimited access to race-bred engineering SLR. In a spell away from Woking (he returned in
knowledge and construction methodology. 2009), he majored in CAE simulations and mixed
McLaren Automotive draws on the extraordinary CAE/physical testing in the mainstream industry,
facilities of the McLaren Technology Centre (MTC) including time at Opel and Aston Martin.
in Woking, UK, to build some of the most technically
sophisticated sports cars in the world – all defined, in His ‘department’ at McLaren is smaller than
particular, by carbon-fiber chassis construction. The some he has worked in: “Essentially it’s me plus our
range encompasses the 650S (in Coupé and Spider senior passive safety engineer,” he smiles. “Of course,
versions) and the hybrid-powered, Coupé-only P1. we have extra support as needed – during physical
They are all capable of more than 200mph, made in testing cycles, for instance – plus two technicians on
very small numbers (the P1 hypercar will be limited the test preparation side, but basically we’re a small
to 375 examples) and essentially hand built. unit compared with what we have to deliver.”
Importantly from a vehicle development
perspective, they are sold across virtually all markets, What they don’t have to deliver is Euro NCAP star
and in spite of their low volume and high status, results. Every McLaren, however, would comfortably
each conforms to the volume-production diktats of satisfy NCAP criteria. “We never test directly for
Whole Vehicle Type Approval, with all the processes them,” Paulo says, “but we specify equivalent tests
that demands. for each of their requirements; and from a structural
point of view we use their test regime to shape our
own program. So our carbon-fiber monocoque, for

“Of course, we have extra support as
needed, but basically we’re a small unit
compared with what we have to deliver”

Paulo Vidal, vehicle safety manager, McLaren Automotive

036 Crash Test Technology International


037Crash Test Technology International


example, would satisfy the same criteria as any other sharing a set of fundamental characteristics’. The
shell in the mainstream tests – in 64km/h or 56km/h 12C (the Automotive division’s first model), the
impacts or whatever.” 650S and P1 are all classed as new types but have
structural similarities.
For Europe, McLaren’s Whole Vehicle Type
Approval is ultimately certified by the UK’s Vehicle “On that basis, the 12C was obviously where we
Certification Agency (VCA), which enables McLaren spent most time, as we were developing and proving
to issue the appropriate Certificate of Conformity all the base criteria from a clean sheet,” Vidal
with each vehicle. Crucially, McLaren also complies expands. “All subsequent developments to date have
with all US market Federal requirements in any been based on major elements of the 12C. Knowing
area where they differ from European standards – our key technologies allows us to know our margins
essentially allowing the cars to comply in all markets, and to assess any potential gaps to each next-
including, say, Russia and China. generation vehicle. So, while significantly changing
some technical detail and even some vehicle
“Our internal program, MDP, the McLaren characteristics from model to model, even into the P1
Development Process, differs from the mainstream generation, we have been able to stay faithful to the
only in small ways, mainly because we sometimes fundamentals of the 12C simply because they work.
need to be more flexible in the process while
remaining absolutely rigid in the deliverables,” “Crash rails, energy absorption and restraint
explains Vidal. systems, for example, are essentially similar, and in
testing and certification terms that gives us continuity
“It begins in the virtual environment in the concept of process – while recognizing that there will
phase, where we assess planned content and potential always be an ongoing regime of improvement and
issues. Based on those predictions and expectations optimization. So the progression from the 12C to the
we move straight into design-specific simulations 650S had the lowest requirement for core changes,
before moving again into the physical test phases, while the leap from the 650S to the P1 (not least
depending largely on the evolving availability of because of the hybrid elements) was much bigger.”
tooling and physical components. That in turn moves
on to the rolling chassis, at which point we assess the On the passive safety side, the virtual process,
effects of the changes for the specific new vehicle.” starting from basic geometry commitments, is
CAE-based, continuously evolving on an attribute
This reflects one important factor in McLaren’s basis, driven by the accumulated database. For each
favor – continuity. The VCA definition of ‘Type’ program, Vidal’s work starts with risk assessment
in Type Approval recognizes ‘a range of vehicles and especially any new or changed risks associated
with new design elements. It is based entirely
“Crash rails, energy absorption and in-house, and the key simulation software is LS-Dyna
restraint systems are essentially similar, (for highly non-linear transient dynamics) and Nastran
which gives us continuity of process” (for structural analysis and assembly modeling).

Paulo Vidal, vehicle safety manager, McLaren Automotive “Like everyone else, we have to be aware of
delivery time and cost considerations, so we work
continuously to minimize delays,” says Vidal. “In the
past we went from concept to tooling to prototype

RIGHT: Correlation between
simulated and actual fixed
front barrier impacts for the P1

FAR RIGHT: ECE side impact
test on a P1. Prototypes were
expensive – the hybrid supercar
sold for more than US$1.1m

038 Crash Test Technology International


Race to road the system. In particular, alongside Feeding more data into areas such
continuously accumulating road car as airbag algorithms can help avoid
McLaren Automotive engineers service and repair information, racing unwanted deployments in road cars that
have close links with the illustrious gives important data on high-speed or can have much higher than usual physical
in-house race team, including in the out-of-the-ordinary impact events. In inputs. It all contributes to the ultimate
passive safety area. In F1 terms, because road car terms these greatly improve goal of ‘no surprises’ for what in real terms
any crash testing element is so different understanding of ‘what-if?’ situations. is still a very young road car manufacturer.
from the road car regime, the crossover
is largely about technology and the
manufacturing process, especially in the
composites realm. But engineers from
Automotive sit in on weekly McLaren
Racing meetings and share thoughts on
specific issues. Perhaps of more direct
importance, though, is McLaren’s GT
racing program (pictured), which started
with the 12C. There are minor differences
in racing homologation specs compared
with road certification, but the big things
are closely comparable and there are now
a lot of GT racers feeding information into

components, then production cars and physical Safety Engineering have become part of the team, ABOVE: Simulation model
testing; in the future we will increasingly go from and return to Woking for parts and facilities as of a McLaren 650S. Although
first virtual assessment to physical testing – but we needed. We also work at MIRA and TRL, which is the main structure of the car is
still don’t foresee a point where virtual testing could geographically very convenient for component tests. shared with the earlier MP4-12C,
entirely replace physical, destructive testing.” the front-end styling is different
“We don’t have a lot of cars! But most of ‘mine’ are
That encompasses frontal and side impact, and very near the front of the line. With the P1 we had two
now roof-deformation ‘press’ tests, but one area in to cover 26 physical tests, up to the VCA-witnessed
particular keeps resurfacing in this conversation – the sign-offs. All the instrumentation, the accelerometers
side impact pole test, as required in subtly different and strain gauges, etc, will be there for the life of the
forms by both European and Federal regimes. car. Typically we go to the lab, take everything with
us, crash the car, spend five days rebuilding it while
For all but the pole test, the same chassis can be we’re analyzing what happened, and then crash
reused, working to worst-case criteria for the two it again. The technicians get emotional about the
certifying regimes, using the familiar static barrier, cars; what was originally a beautiful orange car is
sled and impact tests, and with deformable elements gradually covered in flat gray and all the necessary
of the car replaced between tests as necessary. datum marks, then elements are crushed and finally
it’s pretty messy. Most of them also have racing
“We test each element where most appropriate,” he backgrounds, so they hate every kilogram we add!”
adds. “The 12C was done mostly in Germany and we
still work there, where our colleagues at Continental “We’re always increasing the level of
instrumentation, to better understand things like
load paths,” Vidal continues. “We’ve started using
high-speed 3D cameras to get improved data on
stress analysis and deformations. The more depth
and repetition we get in the physical data, the better
understanding and correlation we can build for future
virtual simulation. All the time, we’re striving to get
closer to ‘right first time’ from the earliest phases.”

Some areas of testing are quite specific to these
cars. The pedestrian impact criteria are focused
mainly on lower leg rather than upper leg criteria
simply because of frontal shape. With the arrival of
the hybrid P1 there were a lot more rubber gloves
and heavy boots in the lab, and the fire service always
had to be on hand during physical tests. But the
main hybrid concerns were more in packaging
than in technology – such as in protecting batteries
within the carbon-fiber tub.

As ever, the biggest challenge was in meeting the
complex challenge of side-pole intrusion, although
all the McLarens comfortably satisfy the requirements
(including side airbags for all markets as well as very
low intrusion thanks to the underlying tub strength).
The big issue was the level of damage necessary to
demonstrate that. ‹

039Crash Test Technology International


LEFT: The pitch motion of the
system is highly accurate and
repeatable due to the fixed-path
guidance, eliminating the need
for expensive control systems

uDypngamraicdpeitch and new customers can buy with confidence, knowing
that they can add the upgrade any time in the future.
With an add-on accessory, Seattle Safety
The Dynamic Pitch Upgrade can be installed or
now provides the capability for simulating removed on existing sled systems within one hour,
making it easy to add it as needed. After installation
pitch without replacing an existing sled system of the platform, a sled position system brings the sled
to the launch position.
With an increasing emphasis on developing
top safety-rated vehicles at low costs, The simulator does not compromise non-pitch
engineers rely on good correlation between testing. There is no fixed equipment blocking access
their CAE models and sled development tests to to the sled, and no complicated, expensive changes
improve compliance test results. The better the are required to the system. Removing the onboard
correlation, the less likely it is to over-design the equipment leaves a flat floor with full access to the
safety systems (adding cost) or under-design them sled system, preserving ease of setup and camera
(achieving a low safety rating). angles for non-pitch testing.
Adding pitch simulation to sled test systems for
full frontal impact testing can improve the correlation When ready for testing, four computer-controlled
of occupant injury performance between sled tests electric actuators provide precise positioning of
and barrier tests, providing engineers with better guides and its low-profile design delivers maximum
design data. camera visibility. Upon test initiation, the only tuning
Additionally, full frontal impact testing is now variable is the horizontal pulse, which is unaffected
being required with China’s New Car Assessment by the pitch actuation. Additionally, follow-on
Program (NCAP) as well as Latin America’s revised tests achieve excellent pitch motion repeatability,
NCAP, so the incentive to add pitch simulation has with RMS errors below 0.5mm as a result of the
grown substantially. fixed-path guidance.
The challenge, however, has always been cost.
Pitch simulation requires buying and installing Seattle Safety is convinced its Dynamic Pitch
an entirely new sled system with integrated pitch Upgrade is a proven, durable mechanical system that
simulation, making it difficult to justify the time and delivers repeatable crash simulation.
money required to add the capability.
However, not anymore. Seattle Safety says its Best of all, it’s an add-on to existing sled systems,
Dynamic Pitch Upgrade is an economical add-on so you don’t need to purchase an entirely new system
accessory to sled systems. Current lab managers can to add pitch testing. The Dynamic Pitch Upgrade is
add pitch simulation without replacing their systems, easy to install, simple to use, and an economical way
to add capability to sled tests as needed. ‹
040 Crash Test Technology International
Seattle Safety
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The value of sled testing, and in particular yaw
reverse acceleration sleds for vehicle passive
safety development, is unquestioned. Since
their introduction in the 1960s, several notable
milestones have further increased their usefulness.
The introduction of the first fully servo-controlled
systems in the 1980s was one, followed by expansion
of application areas, which include side impact
simulation, whiplash and more. Over time, crash
sleds have become production test plants, with
normal usage rates as high as 1,500 actual tests or
more annually.
However, the very design that allows for such high
test efficiency is also what limits the systems’ ability
to fully realistically simulate occupant compartment
kinematics. A rigid sled confined to move in one
direction along rails is easy to handle, but only
reproduces body motions in a single degree of
freedom. As early as the 1980s, work was done
to add pitching motion (pitch and vertical motion
in the vertical plane) via mechanical means with
approximate solutions. In 2002, the first successful
servo-controlled pitching system was installed and
since then more than 20 have been commissioned

Pitch and

crash sled
Instron is developing a concept for a 5DOF sled system that
adds yaw and lateral motion to a traditional test setup

worldwide. These systems provide highly accurate FIGURE 1 (TOP): An example a performance envelope in each of 6DOF
replication of a broad range of motion, delivering of an Instron high-performance (longitudinal, vertical, pitch, yaw, lateral and roll).
improved upper body and extremity kinematics servo-controlled pitching system Using numerical techniques, it was possible to
and more realistic injury assessment. Figure 1 select specific crash events and create simulations
shows a typical high-performance servo-controlled of occupant behavior with different combinations
pitching system. of inputs, in comparison to the ‘true’ result using all
6DOF. Figure 3 shows simulated occupant position
With increasing focus on offset, narrow-offset, at 160ms using all six inputs for a typical NCAP test.
angled, and compatibility crash modes, the natural
question now becomes: what about yaw, and more Once established, this process was extended to
specifically, what about combined pitch and yaw? identify exactly which inputs are critical to creating
Since no data existed to define the requirements a realistic occupant response, and the dynamics
for the sled system, a study was undertaken to required. Further investigations were done to
analyze a wide range of crash data, develop a set validate the ability of available sled equipment to
of requirements for a pitch and yaw simulator, and provide adequate (i.e. loading duration) input to
if possible, a working concept for the system. the car body. Without prejudice as to a feasible
solution, the effort resulted in a set of requirements
A complete range of vehicles and crash modes that defines the inputs required to a car body during
were examined and statistically analyzed to create

042 Crash Test Technology International


FIGURE 2: The new 5DOF sled system designed by Instron discarded, mainly for two reasons: mass and loading.
To deliver a useful system, frontal accelerations
34 needed to remain at their current peaks of 60g
or more. In addition, loading from lateral dynamics
56 made the existing design unsuitable.

Ultimately a new concept was formed around
the proven pitching operating principle, which has
the following features. Frontal acceleration is at or
near current levels without the need for higher force
main acceleration technology – a compounding risk
to be avoided.

Simultaneous pitch/vertical/yaw/lateral motion
control of the test buck must be included, with the
ability to reproduce a broad range of crash dynamics
in any direction.

Full servo-control of pulse shapes is required
to maintain accuracy of results and enable high
throughput at reasonable operating cost. Finally,
the rig technology must be based on current
proven practice.

Figure 2 shows the complete 5DOF assembly
consisting of offboard servo-controlled hydraulic
cylinders for input of vertical and lateral loads via
horizontal rails at four points on an articulated sled

a sled test to accurately replicate occupant kinematics “A number of designs that attempted
and injury. to add yaw and lateral motion to the
existing proven pitching sled were
Figure 4 shows occupant position at 160ms considered and discarded”
simulated with 3DOF (longitudinal, pitch and
vertical). Inconsistencies due to lack of body FIGURES 3-6: Simulations of assembly. This construction is essentially the same
motion in the horizontal plane can clearly be seen. occupant behavior in crash as the current pitching technology, now operating
scenarios with different in both vertical and horizontal planes.
The study produced the following conclusions. combinations of inputs
Firstly, yaw-only motion (rotation about an axis at Efforts continue to put this technology into
the center of the vehicle) is insufficient to provide practice and challenges remain. To be useful as
accurate results. Addition of lateral motion to yaw a laboratory development tool it must be accurate,
is critical to accurate occupant kinematics. Figure robust, and relatively efficient to operate. Advanced
5 shows the result with yaw (only) added to pitch. engineering development tools, numerical models,
and real-time multi-axis servoloop control will make
In most cases, yaw motion starts late in the it possible to realize this system.
crash event and continues far beyond the typical
test duration of a sled; however, accurate occupant As occupant protection development is focused
motion can be achieved with relatively limited more on offset, angular, and partial overlap injury
input duration – meaning that initial loading to reduction, the ability to simulate these crash
the occupant is critical to the ultimate kinematics. dynamics for laboratory optimization of passive
safety systems will increase. The concept presented
Next, the general limitations of reverse here provides a path for increasing confidence in
acceleration sleds did not create a knockout development of more complex safety technology. ‹
criteria to achieve realistic results.
It was also demonstrated that, like pitching Instron
motion, yaw motion varies considerably, must To learn more about this advertiser,
be accurately reproduced for correlation of please visit
occupant injury, and must be continuously
variable. Approximate solutions will not provide ONLINE READER INQUIRY NUMBER
meaningful data. Figure 6 shows results of using
5DOF input and compares favorably with the
original 6DOF simulation.

The next step was to use these requirements
to develop a concept for the design of a pitch and
yaw or 5DOF sled system. A number of designs
that attempted to add yaw and lateral motion to the
existing proven pitching sled were considered and

043Crash Test Technology International



A team at the University of Technology Bergakademie
Freiberg, Germany, has developed optimized crash
test rigs for high-frequency crash signal analysis


Crash test rigs are usually very complex divisions of automotive manufacturers and suppliers,
systems that provide the opportunity to or by the university’s own researchers and students,
perform a large range of different tests and who are developing structures or materials for the
sample a lot of data about the crash during the very cars of the future. For all of them, the complex –
short impact time. But often, these test rigs also have and therefore expensive – crash test rigs result in
some disadvantages. Their complexity makes the costs per test that are typical for vehicle development,
test facilities, and therefore each test, very expensive but are out of the affordable range for basic research.
and the structures of the test rigs result in a strong
dynamic interaction of the test specimen and test rig. The aim of the newly developed test rigs is to build
This results in a leak of information in the region of simple, cheap and robust test rigs that are able to
high-frequency response. measure high-frequency responses at the level of
The high-frequency response is necessary to component crash tests, as well as full-car crash tests.
get useful information about, for example, the first
load peak, the so-called trigger force, or about the During the development, a focus was to find a
deformation process itself. Furthermore, the high- test rig structure that has only high eigenfrequencies.
frequency response is used in the sensing for airbag
activation. To decide about the criticality of a collision
in the first 10 milliseconds of a crash, the high-
frequency response – up to 2,000Hz – of the front
structure or the side structure has to be known for
different crash scenarios.
With these requirements in mind, new crash
test facilities have been developed at the University
of Technology in Freiberg, Germany, by a group
led by the author. Large and small drop-test rigs, as
well as a moving barrier, have been built. A further
requirement for these developments results directly
from the customers of the crash tests. Often, the tests
are carried out in cooperation with partners from
the material research departments of this and other
universities, from research centers, from the research

044 Crash Test Technology International


ABOVE: Moving barrier This is essential to get an insight into the high-
developed by the author and frequency signals of the tested crash component
his research team in Freiberg and not of the test rig itself.

LEFT: The bumper beam of a An important step in the design of the test rig
Volkswagen Passat (1998) after has to be to look at the load transfer from the crash
a pole impact conducted on component through the load measurement device
the new test rig into the base of the test rig. Here, only axial loading
should happen and any bending excitation of
substructures of the test rig must be avoided.
Furthermore, the axial stiffness of all parts has to
be high. One result is that a DMS-based load sensor
has been developed by the university without strong
diameter changes and with high axial stiffness.

045Crash Test Technology International


“Some good high-frequency signals
have been analyzed from longitudinal
members or simple crashboxes”

The same work has to be done for the drop mass RIGHT: Tubes deformed
respective to the additional mass of the moving by progressive buckling
barrier. The load transfer from the decelerated masses
to the impact zone has to be without an excitation BELOW: The drop test rig
of bending deformations. Therefore, the additional developed by the team at
masses of the moving barrier are fixed directly the University of Freiberg
to the back of the frontal impact plate and the lateral
position can be adapted to the load transfer into the It is important to be careful with all the additional
impact zone. Furthermore, the coupling of the test subsystems in the test rig that are used to simplify
rig and the base, as well as the base itself, has to be the handling or to make additional measurements.
optimized to get a well-performing test rig. They can strongly influence the dynamic properties
of the whole rig. A negative example was a simple
endless tube in the load path. It was designed with
a high plastic deformation load of about 400kN.
Nevertheless, it induced critical, low-frequency
oscillations with a frequency of 1,000Hz. The reason
was the tube’s large diameter, which resulted in a
bending of the upper and lower connection plate.
The best solution is always to avoid a direct coupling
to the loaded part of the test rig.

In contrast to this, the linear guides of the drop
mass or moving barrier out of the impact zone can be
lightweight in design and cheap, because they do not
influence the dynamic properties during the crash.

Using the drop test rig, some good high-frequency
signals have been analyzed, for example from
longitudinal members or simple crashboxes, such
as tubes that deform by progressive buckling. Due
to the eigenfrequencies of the test rig being higher
than 2,000Hz, the buckling frequency of the part
under test between 200Hz and 1,000Hz can also
be observed well, depending on the tube geometry
and impact velocity. Some details of the deformations
resulting from cracks or other effects can also
be observed.

The test rigs have therefore fulfilled their brief
to not only give customers and students a cheap way
to test new materials or newly designed future crash
structures, but also to deliver high performance in
the high-frequency force or acceleration response.
With its accumulated know-how, the team at Freiberg
has also supported some industrial partners in
building up their own special crash test rigs. ‹

Technology International Technology International
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046 Crash Test Technology International

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