Calculating Vehicle Side Structure Stiffness from Crash Test Data: Effects of Impactor Characteristics



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Authors Abstract
This research examines the effects of impactor characteristics on the calculated structural stiffness parameters A and B for the struck sides of late-model vehicles. This study was made possible by crash testing performed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration involving side impacts of the same vehicle line with both a rigid pole and with a moving deformable barrier. Twenty-nine crash test pairs were identified for 2018 model-year vehicles. Of 60 total tests, 49 were analyzed. Test data for 19 vehicles impacted in both modes resulted in A and B values considered to be valid.
Classifying these 19 vehicles according to the categories defined by Siddall and Day, only Class 2 multipurpose vehicles were represented by enough vehicles (10) to search for trends within a given vehicle category.
For these vehicles, more scatter in the results was observed in both A and B values for the MDB impacts compared to the pole impacts. A causal relationship between stiffness values in the two test modes was not discovered. In either test mode, there was little correlation between either A or B with vehicle wheelbase.
These studies confirm previous findings; namely, that the side structure stiffness parameters vary widely, even within a given class, and that they cannot be predicted based on other vehicle characteristics or other test modes.
Meta TagsDetails
Struble, D., and Struble, J., "Calculating Vehicle Side Structure Stiffness from Crash Test Data: Effects of Impactor Characteristics," SAE Technical Paper 2020-01-0640, 2020,
Additional Details
Apr 14, 2020
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Technical Paper