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Measurements of vehicle compatibility in front-to-side crashes
Published October 10, 2001 by International Research Council on Biokinetics of Impact in Switzerland
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) routinely measures the force exerted on the barrier in NCAP crash tests. Thirty-six load cells on the face of the rigid barrier measure the distribution forces. This study examines the load cell barrier data collected during recent years of NCAP testing to determine how it can be used to assess vehicle compatibility in vehicle-to-vehicle front-to-side crashes.
The height of the center-of-force measured by the columns of load cells is proposed as a metric for quantitatively describing the geometric properties of the crash forces in the vertical direction. Another proposed metrics is the load distribution when the total force reaches 50 kN. Load distribution factors are proposed, based on the number and location of load cells that carry the majority of the barrier crash forces. For front-to- side crashes, the geometric and stiffness properties of frontal structures during the early stages of crush are applicable. Consequently, compatibility measurements at a frontal crush of 125 mm or less are presented in this paper. This paper shows the values for the proposed geometric compatibility parameters measured on twenty-three late model passenger cars.