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Safety Belt Buckle Environment in Vehicle Rollover Crash Tests

Journal Article
ISSN: 1946-3995, e-ISSN: 1946-4002
Published April 20, 2009 by SAE International in United States
Safety Belt Buckle Environment in Vehicle Rollover Crash Tests
Citation: Haldenwanger, M., Antonucci, A., Cooper, G., Malopolski, W. et al., "Safety Belt Buckle Environment in Vehicle Rollover Crash Tests," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars – Mech. Syst. 2(1):1181-1202, 2009,
Language: English


A study was conducted by General Motors (GM) to further expand upon the currently available research regarding the safety belt buckle environment during full scale vehicle crash tests. A previous study by GM [1] focused on the environment experienced by safety belt buckles in planar, non-rollover, vehicle crash conditions. This study expands upon that work by measuring buckle acceleration and webbing tension in a variety of full scale vehicle rollover crash tests. A variety of test vehicles, rollover crash types, seating positions, roll directions, test speeds, and safety belt systems were included in the study. Emphasis was placed on examination of the buckle response data during vehicle-to-ground impacts (roof, body, and wheel).
This study reports on data recorded from 20 full scale rollover crash tests with 40 instrumented end release safety belt buckles. Crash tests in this study were limited to rollover tests involving un-tethered vehicles where at least one-quarter turn or more occurred. Acceleration measurements were made using tri-axial accelerometers mounted onto the buckles. The accelerations were recorded in the axial, lateral, and perpendicular axes relative to the buckle. Belt webbing tension was also measured with load cells mounted on the lap and shoulder webbing.
The data summarized in this study characterizes the environment for safety belt buckles during a variety of full scale vehicle rollover crash test conditions. In the 20 vehicle rollover crash tests included in this study, there were no buckle to latch plate separations.