Passenger Vehicle Dynamic Response and Characterization of Side Structure during Low- to Moderate-Speed Side Impacts
To be published on April 2, 2019 by SAE International in United States
A significant portion of real-world side impacts involving passenger vehicles occur at speeds lower than side impact testing conducted by either the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Data from low- to moderate-speed side impact testing involving late-model passenger vehicles is limited, making evaluation of impact severity, impact environment, occupant loading, and resulting occupant injury potential challenging. As part of a research test series involving late model mid-size sedans, two full-scale non-deformable moving barrier side impact crash tests were conducted at impact speeds of 6.2 mph and 13.4 mph. Instrumentation on the sedan included tri-axis accelerometers and lap/shoulder belt load cells. In both tests, instrumented Hybrid III 50th percentile-male Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs) were restrained in the driver and right front passenger seats using the available three-point belt systems. Response data for the vehicle, barrier, and ATDs was recorded using on-board data acquisition, and on- and off-board real-time and high-speed video cameras. In addition, the vehicle deformation was quantified from pre- and post-test 3D scan data of the vehicle. Results from the test series provided data regarding accelerations, velocity change, and restitution. Force-displacement characteristics and energy dissipation were also evaluated and compared. The side structure of the vehicle was assessed for damage, and conclusions regarding damage progression and initiation of side structure deformation are also presented. Utilizing the data that was developed from the test series, modeling of side stiffness was also reviewed.