Crash Test Facility Upgrade for NHTSA Oblique Test with Residual Energy Control and Advanced Barrier Force Measurement

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-1056

  • 2018-04-03
Objective: The objective of this study was to design laboratory countermeasures for kinetic energy management in the NHTSA 90kph oblique front impact crash test. In addition, an advanced force distribution analysis method was developed by upgrading the oblique moving deformable barrier (OMDB). Background: The high post-test kinetic energies of the oblique test can be challenging to safely control, especially for smaller crash labs. Post-test energies can be greater than 50% of the initial energy, which is greater than other front crash modes. Brakes on the OMDB and vehicle may not be enough to contain the crash. The current OMDB has the sensing capability to measure kinematics. This data has a limited ability to study dynamic force distributions. Methods: Two tether systems were designed: one between the OMDB and towing cable and the other between the test vehicle and ground. Both tether systems use a hydraulic brake caliper and rotor to provide controlled payout and energy absorption. The OMDB was upgraded by covering the entire front face with 50kN load cells in a 5inch by 5inch array without altering the original mass distribution. These systems were validated with a small vehicle to represent a worst-case scenario. Results: The residual kinetic energies after impact separation were 400kJ for the OMDB and 200kJ for the vehicle. The OMDB tether absorbed 176kJ (44%) of the residual energy. The vehicle tether absorbed 34kJ (17%). The OMDB face load cell data showed a total peak load of 475kN at 36ms. Conclusions: With post-impact energies as high as 76% (600kJ) of the total energy, countermeasures are recommended to avoid safety concerns, particularly for smaller labs. A worst-case test demonstrated the implemented countermeasures were safe and efficient. The added load cells improved the analysis capability of the OMDB by recording dynamic loading changes.
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