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SEPTEMBER 2017 Everything you need to know about the German manufacturer’s new world-class crash test

SEPTEMBER 2017

SEPTEMBER 2017 Everything you need to know about the German manufacturer’s new world-class crash test facility

Everything you need to know about the German manufacturer’s new world-class crash test facility

Daimler redefines passive safety testing

OEM interview: Volvo

Malin Ekholm, director of the Volvo Car Safety Centre, discusses how the Swedish facility uniquely evaluated the new XC60

University focus

Experimental simulation software is being developed to improve the rigidity of composite-built vehicles

Ambulance crashworthiness

The inside story behind the creation of 10 crash test methods designed to improve worker and patient safety in emergency services vehicles

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Editor’s note

CONTENTS

CONTENTS

COVER STORY

COVER STORY

COVER STORY
Editor’s note CONTENTS CONTENTS COVER STORY As an automotive journalist I’m lucky enough to test drive

As an automotive journalist I’m lucky enough to test drive

themselves whether and when they use it, or if they prefer to control the

vehicle manually. “There are also other factors that can lead to an accident. Other road users who are not in automated vehicles and cause an accident are just one example. For me, this means that while a safe vehicle uses all possible means of avoiding accidents, it is always prepared for the eventuality of an accident. So, our vehicles, including automated

vehicles, must meet our high crash safety requirements in the future.” Likewise, our guest columnist Antonio Avenoso, executive director at the European Transport Safety Council, addresses what he regards as a worrying trend of car makers prioritizing active and preventive measures over passive safety requirements. “With this focus on new technology, there is a danger that crash test requirements are deprioritized,” he writes on page 80. However, Technavio has recently forecast that the global crash test dummies market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1% over the next five years and the crash impact simulator market will grow at a CAGR of 29.61% over the same period. Why? Partly due to an increasing number of new vehicle launches – the very same ADAS- laden ones I’m fortunate to test. Maybe there’s nothing to fear

 

40

Daimler crash test center

 
 

The German OEM’s new facility makes up to 70 different crash configurations possible

   
 

TECH INSIDER

 
 

03

Obese and elderly ATDs

 
 

Dummies more representative of society could deepen the understanding of organ behavior

 

06

Subaru XV

 

The second-generation crossover SUV has set a Japanese record for chassis integrity and safety

 

10

FCA Orbassano Safety Center

 
 

A new crash simulator has been installed as the Italian facility celebrates its 20,000 th crash test

FEATURES

 
 

12

Motorsport safety

 
 

How Toyota-derived computer models are being fed into racing safety research programs

 

18

OEM interview: Volvo

 
 

Malin Ekholm, director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, discusses recent advances in passive safety analysis techniques

 

24

Ambulance crashworthiness

 

Experts are campaigning for 10 new crash tests to be made mandatory. By Simon Parkin

 

30

Future legislation

 
 

The European Commission aims to reduce road fatalities by 2020 with new crash test measures

 

34

Queen’s University Belfast

 
 

Revolutionary simulation tools could improve composite car safety, as Max Glaskin learns

 

49

Supplier interview: Cellbond

 

s

Founder and MD Dr Mike Ashmead reveals plans to increase ATD test capacity worldwide

 

80

Antonio Avenoso

 

Why the European Union needs to ensure that crash test requirements remain a safety priority

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

52

Orme: Motion analysis

54

DTS: In-dummy DAS

56

Altran: Improved low-speed testing

58

Messring: Future-proof facilities

62

Instron: Oblique impacts

64

PCO: Better camera infrastructure

66

Humanetics: Crash dummy developments

69

4activeSystems: Advanced dummy objects

70

AOS Technologies: Camera technology

71

Encopim: Impact launcher

72

measX: Head injury assessment

73

Vision Research: Enhancements in data capture

74

Kistler: In-dummy data device

75

AMS: Effective data management

76

Seattle Safety: Upgraded sled system

77

HuDe: Modular test tools for interior components

78

Products & Services in brief

a lot of newly launched cars. And

whether I’m behind the wheel of an

entry-level hatchback, a luxurious exec sedan or a high-performance supercar, nearly all of them come with varying levels of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) as standard. Such is their importance that active safety system technologies now determine whether a new car

is given a 4-star or 5-star rating by

independent crash test bodies such as Euro NCAP. And as cars become less reliant on people to control them, one assumes that the number of active safety systems fitted as standard on new models will only increase. But what does this mean for passive safety technologies and for the engineers and facilities that test them? Could crash test facilities be made redundant as autonomous vehicles populate the world’s roads? This potential scenario is giving people in and around the automotive industry food for thought. “The advantage of automating driving functions is that the driver will less often be the cause of accidents in the future,” said Dr Rodolfo Schöneburg, head of vehicle safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars, when speaking recently about Daimler’s brand-new crash test center. “Automation will, however, not be available on all roads, and drivers will be able to decide for

John Thornton

roads, and drivers will be able to decide for John Thornton Editor Production editor Alex Bradley

Editor

Production editor Alex Bradley Chief sub editor Andrew Pickering Deputy production editor Nick Shepherd Senior sub editor Christine Velarde Sub editors Tara Craig, Alasdair Morton

Simon Parkin, Richard Williams, Karl Vadaszffy

Circulation manager

John Thornton

Suzie Matthews

Editor-in-chief

 

Dean Slavnich

Head of production and logistics Ian Donovan

Publication director

Assistant editor

Aboobaker Tayub

Rachel Evans

(aboobaker.tayub@

 

ukimediaevents.com)

Art director James Sutcliffe Art editor Anna Davie

Deputy production

manager

CEO

 

Cassie Inns

Tony Robinson

Design team Andy Bass, Louise Green, Andrew Locke, Craig Marshall, Nicola Turner, Julie Welby, Ben White

 

Managing director

Contributors this issue Antonio Avenoso, Andrew Charman, John Evans, Max Glaskin, Matt Joy,

Production team Carole Doran, Bethany Gill, Frank Millard, George Spreckley

Graham Johnson

Editorial director

Anthony James

Contact us at:
Contact us at:

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SEPTEMBER 2017

001

compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps

compact and ruggedized

2100 fps
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compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps
compact and ruggedized 2100 fps

TECH INSIDER

Obese and elderly

A process called analytic morphomics has led to the development of crash test dummies that are better representative of society

WORDS BY JOHN EVANS

ATDs

better representative of society WORDS BY JOHN EVANS ATDs Ten years ago, Prof. Stewart Wang, director

Ten years ago, Prof. Stewart Wang, director of the International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) at the University of Michigan, told delegates at a meeting of the International Research Council on Biomechanics of Injury held in Europe that the world faced a growing obesity epidemic. “Everybody laughed and said it was an exclusively US issue,” he recalls. They’re not laughing now. Last year the World Health Organization claimed that worldwide obesity had

doubled since 1980. Also in 2016, the National Institute on Aging predicted that by 2050 the number of people aged 65 and over will have doubled from 8.5% to nearly 17%. The problem for auto makers and safety legislators, says Wang, is that these two fast-growing groups present an array of special challenges that today’s vehicle safety systems and passive safety testing procedures are ill-equipped to deal with. “As a trauma surgeon, I see the difference in the pattern of injuries that these two groups suffer in car

crashes. The obese suffer more lower extremity injuries, but fewer abdominal. This is because the lap belt tends to sit above the abdomen. Their extra bulk, in front, behind and underneath, means their center of gravity is pushed forward. In an accident they submarine beneath the belt and into the dashboard.” In contrast, for elderly vehicle occupants, the chest is the area of greatest concern, and in particular the considerable forces applied to it by the seatbelt. “A chest injury can be terrible for older people because

Compared with the standard adult crash dummy, which weighs 76kg (167.5 lb), the obese ATD weighs 124kg (273 lb) and has a BMI of 35

Crash Test Technology International

SEPTEMBER 2017

003

TECH INSIDER

Expediting body parts

While Stewart Wang’s 3D scanning work has boosted Humanetics’ structural and behavioral insights into the
While Stewart Wang’s
3D scanning work has
boosted Humanetics’
structural and behavioral
insights into the human body,
3D printing has sharpened
its production capabilities.
“Previously, we had to
design a body part that
would deflect and move
like a human one, but not
break like one,” explains
Jim Davis, VP of engineering
at Humanetics. “For example,
our engineers would make a
metal rib with some damping
material glued to it, but after
a certain number of crashes
the bonding would change.
“With 3D printing and new
materials, we can tune a rib
to the exact performance
that we want. We can also
work with really complex
structures, and prototyping
can be done overnight.”

BELOW (LEFT):

ICAM’s Stewart Wang believes that vehicle restraints should cater for all occupant types and sizes, via more precise management of airbag detonation points and tension limiters. He believes that this will better protect obese and elderly occupants

BELOW (RIGHT): Until now, biomechanical engineers’ only source of data was cadavers but ICAM is helping them to link the development of their crash test dummies directly to living, human specimens

they are less robust,” explains Wang. “Their chest wall is more brittle and fractures easily.” Wang blames the establishment of the impossibly fit crash test dummy with a strong chest and narrow, bony hips perfectly shaped to accept a lap belt, for these two groups’ poorer accident outcomes. “Today’s crash test dummies do represent the average, but car makers have been using them for 50 years. Give engineers that long to pass a test and they get better at passing it. So what governments do is make the test harder and the engineers get better at protecting that young, fit physique. They’ve gone too far in devising these very narrow tests and are ignoring a very significant and more normal part of the population.”

BODY SCANNERS

For more than two decades, Wang and his team have been analyzing “tens of thousands” of CT scans of trauma patients who have been in car crashes, and measuring the 3D images in a process called analytic morphomics. “We designed a software system to take detailed measurements of every body component, and so now we have a clear mathematical understanding of what a live human body looks like.” Note: live, not dead. As Wang duly explains, passive safety test engineers don’t have access to live bodies. Cadavers, which naturally are very different, can, he claims, only yield a minuscule amount of worthwhile data compared with what he and his team can provide.

data compared with what he and his team can provide. 004 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER
data compared with what he and his team can provide. 004 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER

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Crash Test Technology International

SEPTEMBER 2017

One beneficiary of Wang’s work is Humanetics. Two years ago the manufacturer of anthropomorphic

test devices made headlines when

it announced that it was testing the

world’s first obese crash test dummy.

Weighing 273 lb (124kg), or 106 lb (48kg) more than the standard adult dummy, and standing 6ft 2in (188cm)

tall, compared with 5ft 9in (175cm),

it has a body mass index of 35.

Jim Davis, VP of engineering at Humanetics, says work to characterize

it as a test device is ongoing: “We have

put the obese dummy through a series of sled evaluations at the University of Virginia in order to determine how lifelike it is and how it compares with cadavers of the same size.” Meanwhile, he’s excited about one of the most recent addition to the Humanetics family: an elderly crash test dummy representing a borderline-obese, 70-year-old female. Establishing that profile required Wang’s considerable resources. “When we were designing the elderly crash test dummy, our first question was, ‘What does it mean to be elderly?’,” says Davis. “We can build anything, but we need to know what we should be targeting. With Stewart Wang and the ICAM’s help we were able to identify what age we needed the crash test dummy to be, as well as its body structure.” Davis regards the elderly crash test dummy as a testbed, something that will bring fresh insight into the behavior of internal organs. To help, Wang and his team are developing a virtual model that takes account of organ geometry, material properties and boundary conditions (where

different tissues meet). It will examine the forces that cause injury in order to help inform the internal structure. “Before, crash test dummies were made from a collection of body parts to create a Frankenstein’s monster of

a tool,” says Wang. “You don’t build

a car that way. And we are not just building older and fatter dummies

– we’re building better ones.”

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TECH INSIDER

Subaru XV

The first vehicle to employ the Japanese OEM’s latest platform architecture has set new benchmarks in impact energy absorption and dissipation testing

WORDS BY JOHN THORNTON

absorption and dissipation testing WORDS BY JOHN THORNTON When the second-gen crossover SUV debuted at the

When the second-gen crossover SUV debuted at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, much of the talk on the Subaru booth centered on how the XV has been built on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) and how that new architecture offers 70% more rigidity and 40% higher impact energy absorption over present models thanks to an improved frame structure and high-tensile steel plates. Subsequent crash tests performed by Japan’s New Car Assessment Program (JNCAP) earlier this year not only confirmed these improvements to the vehicle’s body and chassis, they also revealed that the XV has set a new record for chassis integrity and passive safety in Japan. Receiving a five-star rating and the Grand Prix Award from JNCAP, the new XV aced the organization’s gamut of crash tests, which included frontal impact, offset impact, side impact, pole, rollover and pedestrian safety. Furthermore, the XV was also awarded the Top Safety Picks prize by

the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the USA (where it is sold as the Crosstrek), in part for its high level of crash safety. Toshiya Furukawa, general manager of Subaru’s engineering division’s vehicle research and experiment department, hasn’t been surprised by how well the XV has performed thus far, as the vehicle has been engineered to meet and exceed current crash safety standards. “The new XV has not only been developed to withstand the most severe crash tests of Euro NCAP, IIHS and JNCAP, but it also satisfies the new frontal oblique crash test, which will be introduced by US NCAP in 2019,” says Furukawa. This new test mode consists of a stationary vehicle oriented at 15° and 35% overlap to an oblique deformable barrier, which travels at 90km/h (56mph) into the front of the stationary test vehicle.

TIME AND EFFORT

Subaru’s in-house crash test program for the new XV was indeed extensive.

006

Crash Test Technology International

SEPTEMBER 2017

ABOVE: The new Subaru XV already meets requirements for US NCAP’s frontal oblique crash test, to be introduced in 2019

BELOW: Toshiya Furukawa led the development project for the crossover SUV

Furukawa led the development project for the crossover SUV According to Furukawa, more than 100 test

According to Furukawa, more than 100 test vehicles were crashed at the OEM’s engineering facility in Gunma, a mountainous, landlocked prefecture on Japan’s main island of Honshu. “Due to the XV being built on the

new SGP, the crash program was a really big challenge, so it took double

the time to perform compared with

previous programs.” Virtual testing also played a key role in the development of the XV, with Livermore Software Technology

Corp’s LS-DYNA finite element software determining the specification and robustness of the test vehicles prior to commencement of the full- scale physical crash test process. As such, the XV was virtually crashed hundreds of times “to ensure superior crash safety performance against crash accidents in the real world”. As Subaru won’t pigeonhole the

XV into any one vehicle segment,

Furukawa won’t be drawn on what he thinks were the most important crash tests. “We think the XV has both a passenger car-like character and SUV capability, so conducting a

variety of tests was important for the development of the XV’s crash safety performance. We didn’t prioritize any

test

over another; we simply wanted

the

car to perform at the highest level

in each and every one of them.”

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2017 EXHIBITOR LIST updated August 2017

A&D Technology Inc | A2LA - American Association for Laboratory Accreditation | AB Dynamics Ltd | Acculogic Inc | Accurate Technologies Inc | Acopian Technical Company | ACS Inc | Acuity Lasers a division of Schmitt Industries | Acutronic USA Inc | Advanced Test Equipment Rentals | Airgas - an Air Liquide company | Altran Concept Tech | American Testing Engine Exhaust Emission Inc | Ametek Programmable Power | AMS North America | Anger Associates Inc | Anritsu Company | APM Technologies | AR RF/Microwave Instrumentation | ASTC | AstroNova Inc Test & Measurement | ATESTEO GmbH | ATI Industrial Automation | ATS Automation | Auto Technology Company | Automotive Centre of Excellence UOIT | Autonomous Solutions Inc | AutoParts Asia | AVL North America Inc | Badger Meter | Battenberg Robotic GmbH & Co KG | Beckhoff Automation LLC |

| BEHCO-MRM | Berghof Group North America | BF-Engineering GmbH | BIA | Blum-Novotest Inc | Bosch Rexroth Corporation | Brüel & Kjær North America Inc | Bureau Veritas | Burke Porter Group | California Analytical

Instruments Inc | Cambustion Ltd | Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV) | Canon USA Inc | Caresoft Global Inc | Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology LLC | Chroma Systems Solutions | Circuit Check Inc | CleNET Technologies | Climatic Testing Systems | Columbus Economic Development Corp | Com-Ten / Andilog | Competitive Vehicle Services | Concurrent | Continental Automotive | Continental Tire the Americas LLC | Controltec | Correlated Solutions Inc | Corrigan Oil Company | Crystal Instruments | CSM Products Inc | CSZ Testing Services | CSZ - A Gentherm Co | D2T America Inc | DAM | Dataforth Corporation | Dewesoft LLC | Dewetron | Diversified Technical Systems Inc | Dongling Technologies USA | DSA Systems Inc | dSpace Inc | Dynamic Research Inc | DynaTronic Corporation Ltd | Dyne Systems | Dyno One Inc | Dytran Instruments Inc | E&M Power | Easy-Measure | Eckel Noise Control Technologies | ECM (Engine Control & Monitoring) | Element Materials Technology | EMIC - Dodson | En Urga Inc | Environmental Tectonics Corp | EQS Systems | ESPEC North America | ETAS Inc | ETS Solution NA LLC | EuroAmerica LLC

| Excel Engineering | Exclusive Origin | Exova Warren | EYE Applied Optix | EZ Metrology | Faist Anlagenbau GmbH | Fastest Inc | FEV North America Inc | Flir Systems Inc | Flow Systems | Force Control Industries Inc | Fox River Systems Inc

| Froude Inc / Go Power Systems | FT Techno of America | G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration | Gantner Instruments Inc | Gasera | GE Measurement & Control Solutions | Go Power Systems | Graphtec America Inc | GWS Environmental Equipment

Co Ltd | Hangzhou Joyoung Trade Co Ltd | HBM Test and Measurement | Head Acoustics Inc | Heinzinger Electronic GmbH | Hi-Techniques Inc | Hioki USA | Hitec Sensor Solutions Inc | Hitec Sensor Solutions Inc | Horiba Instruments Inc | Huber USA Inc | Huff Technologies Inc | Humanetics Innovative Solutions Inc | Hyge Inc | IAC Acoustics | IAG mbH | imc | IMEG | IMV Corporation | Inficon | InfraTec Infrared LLC | Innovasys LLC | Innovative Electronics Corporation | Instek America Corp | Interface Inc | Intertek | Intland Software GmbH | Intrepid Control Systems Inc | Ipetronik Inc | IPG Automotive USA Inc | IR Telemetrics | J-Tec Associates Inc | Jeio Tech Inc | Jesse Garant Metrology Center | Joint Clutch &

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| NAC Image Technology | National Instruments Inc | Navistar Inc | Nevada Automotive Test Center | Nitto Kohki USA | North Star Imaging Inc | NovaStar Solutions | NVT Group | ODU-USA Inc | Optical Measurement Systems | Optimal + |

OptimumG LLC | Orion Test Systems & Automation | Oros | Osram Process Heat | Oxford Technical Solutions Ltd | P3 North America | PCB Piezotronics Inc | PCO AG | Photron USA Inc | Pickering Interfaces | Pico Technology | Pine | Plexim Inc | PMC Engineering LLC | Polytec Inc | Powertec Industrial Motors Inc | Precision Filters Inc | PTM Electronics Inc | Q Corporation | R+W America | Race Technology USA | Racelogic | RCO Technologies LLC | RDP Electrosense | Re-Sol LLC | RedViking Group LLC | Reilhofer KG | REL Inc | Remote Tracking Systems Inc | Renk Systems Corporation | Revolutionary Engineering Inc | RF System Lab | Rohde & Schwarz USA Inc | Russells Technical Products | S Himmelstein & Company | Sakor Technologies Inc | Schober Test Systems | SDI (Sensor Developments Inc) | SEA Limited | Seica Inc | Sensors Inc | Seoul Industry Engineering Co Ltd | Servo Innovations | SGS North America | Shore Western Manufacturing Inc | Siemens Industry Inc | Sierra Instruments | Sierra Research | Signalysis | Sinfonia Technology Co Ltd | Sinus Messtechnik GmbH | Smithers Rapra | Softing Automotive Electronics GmbH | Sonoscan Inc | Southern Hemisphere Proving Ground (SHPG) | Southwest Research Institute | Specialised Imaging Inc | Spectral Dynamics Inc | Spectre Corp | Stähle GmbH | Staubli Corporation | Stringo | Tachi-S Engineering USA Inc | Taylor Dynamometer | TDK-Lambda Americas Inc | TE Connectivity | TEAC Corporation | TECAT Performance Systems LLC | Tekscan Inc | Tektronix Inc | Teledyne LeCroy | Temprel Inc | Tenney/Blue M - a division of TPS LLC | Tescor Inc | TestEquity LLC | Testo Inc | Thermotron | Thyssenkrupp | TraceTronic Inc | Trafag Inc | Transportation Research Center Inc | TraxStar Technologies | Trescal | Trialon Corporation | Trilion Quality Systems | TSI Incorporated | TÜV SÜD America Inc | Unholtz Dickie Corp | Unico Inc | Unimeasure Inc | United Electronic Industries (UEI) | United Technical Inc | United Testing System Inc | Vaisala Inc | Vector CANtech Inc | Viatran Corporation | Vibration Research | VIC Leak Detection | Virginia Panel Corporation | Vision Research | VisiSonics | Viviota | VJ Technologies | VPG Micro Measurements | WEH Technologies Inc | Weiss Technik North America | Wineman Technology Inc | X-Ray Lab | XSensor Technology Corporation | Xylon | Zes Zimmer Electronic Systems GmbH | ZF Friedrichshafen AG | Zwick USA

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NVH , DYNAMICS, DURABILITY , CAE, AERO , RAPID DEVELOPMENT ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW

ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW

, RAPID DEVELOPMENT ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW 7 OCTOBER 24-26, 2017 NOVI MI AUTOMOTIVE
, RAPID DEVELOPMENT ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW 7 OCTOBER 24-26, 2017 NOVI MI AUTOMOTIVE
, RAPID DEVELOPMENT ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW 7 OCTOBER 24-26, 2017 NOVI MI AUTOMOTIVE
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, RAPID DEVELOPMENT ICLE AND COMPONENT AND SERVICES SHOW 7 OCTOBER 24-26, 2017 NOVI MI AUTOMOTIVE

OCTOBER 24-26, 2017

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TECH INSIDER

FCA Safety Center

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is celebrating its 20,000 th crash test in Europe, and marking 40 years since opening its Orbassano Safety Center, with the purchase of an advanced new crash simulator

WORDS BY RACHEL EVANS

of an advanced new crash simulator WORDS BY RACHEL EVANS C r a s h experts

Crash experts at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) Orbassano Safety Center in Turin recently celebrated two major milestones. In March this year, the company conducted its 20,000 th crash test in Europe – a full half century after test number one was performed on a Fiat 600 at the auto maker’s Mirafiori factory, also in Turin, way back in 1967. This year also marks the 40 th anniversary of the Orbassano Safety Center, which came into operation in 1977, taking over FCA’s crash test duties from Mirafiori. To mark the double anniversary, a cutting-edge new crash simulator has been installed at the Italian facility. The sophisticated system can reproduce accelerations highly realistically (up to 60 times the force of gravity), without deforming the vehicle’s body. The new system is said to be one of the most powerful and complete available on the market and broadens the range of crashes that can be simulated off-vehicle by FCA.

LEFT: Caption to go in here please Caption to go in here please Caption to
LEFT: Caption to go in
here please Caption
to go in here please
Caption to go
in here please Caption to go in here please Caption to go ABOVE: The 20,000 t

ABOVE: The 20,000 th test performed by FCA was a full width frontal impact test

LEFT: Other landmark tests were conducted on an Alfa Romeo 164 in 1990 and on a Fiat Doblò in 2006 (BELOW)

Alfa Romeo 164 in 1990 and on a Fiat Doblò in 2006 (BELOW) 010 Crash Test

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LEFT: The Hyge G crash simulator at FCA’s Orbassano Safety Center reproduces accelerations typical of those developed in a real-life crash without deforming the vehicle’s body

With a power rating of 3.2MN, the Hyge G simulator can propel vehicles at speeds of up to 90km/h (56mph), simulate the pitching of the body typical in head-on collisions, and, in the case of side crashes, reproduce the kinematics of occupants with an extremely high level of accuracy. And to further bolster its crash test capabilities, the Orbassano Safety Center is currently undergoing an extensive renovation, which will see the opening of a new full-scale facility by winter 2018. The crash hall now under construction at the 90,000m 2 (968,760ft 2 ) site is set to replace the existing outdoor area and add to the indoor facilities, which cover an area of approximately 18,000m 2 (193,752ft 2 ).

SAFETY AND CONTROL

With a tally of almost 20,300 full-scale crashes since its establishment, the Orbassano Safety Center conducts, on average, 600 crash tests per year. In addition, approximately 2,000 component tests are carried out. Two crashes are performed per day on one shift, or three crashes with two shifts partially overlapped. Any crash test can be carried out inside the Turin facility at speeds up to 100km/h (62mph), according to all worldwide regulations and third-party ratings (including 2020 front US NCAP and 2020 front Euro NCAP). These include car-to-car frontal collisions at the same speed and car-to-car angular collisions at different speeds. There are also obstacles for misuse crash tests. The FCA Orbassano Safety Center currently houses two test tracks (though this will increase to nine tracks upon completion of the renovation); 40 high-speed cameras; 40 fully instrumented dummies covering all sizes and regulations, from new born to 95 th percentile adults; 20 ballast dummies that are not instrumented; and the aforementioned new Hyge G crash simulator.

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MOTORSPORT

human

The

factor

OEM-derived computational modeling

technology developed to improve crash tests

is now boosting driver safety in racing

WORDS BY ANDREW CHARMAN

Toyota’s THUMS will enable a better understanding of the effect of an impact on the human body, helping develop safer racing cars

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MOTORSPORT

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MOTORSPORT

MOTORSPORT Soichiro Honda, founder of the automotive manufacturer that bears his name, first coined the quote

Soichiro Honda, founder of the automotive manufacturer that bears his name, first coined the quote ‘racing improves the breed’, but the reverse is equally true –

motorsport has never been afraid to take advantage of advances made in either the automotive or the aerospace industries. So when Japanese vehicle manufacturer Toyota developed THUMS (Total Human Model for Safety),

a computer model of the human body, with the aim

of obtaining much more extensive information as to

the likely injuries sustained in a crash than a physical crash test dummy could provide, it attracted interest from the Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety (GIMSS) – the official safety partner of international motorsport governing body, the FIA. GIMSS first worked with Toyota using THUMS technology back in 2007, and in 2012 embarked on

a specific study of racing driver spinal injuries. The

2012 study focused on a nasty crash that befell World Endurance Championship (WEC) driver Anthony Davidson at the 2012 Le Mans 24 Hours – his LMP1 class Toyota collided with another car and was flipped into a barrier at high speed, Davidson suffering two broken vertebrae in his back. “We saw the opportunity of a serious research program looking at the causes and potential solutions to spinal injuries in frontal impacts,” says Peter Wright, senior research advisor for GIMSS. That particular study concluded in 2015 and produced some specific recommendations on seat back angles, seat foams and harness geometry and that are being incorporated in forthcoming new LMP regulations.

are being incorporated in forthcoming new LMP regulations. What is THUMS? Toyota has been developing THUMS
are being incorporated in forthcoming new LMP regulations. What is THUMS? Toyota has been developing THUMS

What is THUMS?

Toyota has been developing THUMS since the start of the 21 s t century. Dr

Toyota has been developing THUMS since the start of the 21 st century. Dr Tjark Kreuzinger sums it up eloquently

as “a tool that allows engineers to develop safety systems much better than using crash test dummies”, while adding that THUMS V5 boasts more than one million elements compared with the approximately 100,000 of the first version. The CAE tool effectively models

a human body, including all of its

physical properties such as bones, ligaments, organs, muscles and skin, drawing on publicly available

information gained over decades of bio-mechanical research conducted all over the world. A conventional crash test using

a dummy provides measurements of

forces, acceleration and movement, but doesn’t provide direct information on what physical damage a person would sustain in such a crash. THUMS, on the other hand, measures strain rather than force, as it is strain that damages human tissue. “Too high a strain causes bones to start fracturing at one location, and this then propagates further through

the bone until it is broken,” explains Kreuzinger. “It is entirely different to using a crash test dummy – if you increase the force, you simply see an increasing response from a sensor.” With THUMS, the full crash test process takes place in a computer. The THUMS model is incorporated into a representation of the vehicle environment, and a simulation is then run. According to Kreuzinger, “the computing power needed to run these

kinds of simulations is huge, and over the past 20 years has increased by at least 100 times”. As an example of a typical THUMS test, Kreuzinger describes a person’s knee being hit by the dashboard. “A sensor in the upper leg of a dummy might record a 3.8kN load, which

we know in most adult men will not cause an injury. Increase the load and we only know statistically that there may be an injury. “With THUMS, however, I can adapt the profile to an elderly man, female or child, and produce a higher level of accuracy and quality of information, showing for example whether there will be a bone fracture resulting from the incident.”

and quality of information, showing for example whether there will be a bone fracture resulting from
Ebrey/BTCC
Ebrey/BTCC

FOUR-PRONGED STUDY

“As with any research you end up answering some questions and generating a whole lot of new ones,” says Wright. So now a new four-year program has been announced with a much wider remit. It will be undertaken over four stages, initially analyzing a suite of accidents in Formula 1 and GP2 Series single- seater racing, IndyCar single-seaters in the USA, and WEC sports cars. “Some of these accidents resulted in spinal injuries and some didn’t when we expected there would be – we are very interested to find out why that didn’t happen.” Motorsport authorities today collect as much data from a given accident as is possible, and this data will provide the essential starting point for the program. “If it’s Formula 1 we have data coming out of our ears, if it’s a national series, which we find just as interesting, there’s not so much data gathering.”

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Verizon IndyCar Series

MOTORSPORT

Verizon IndyCar Series MOTORSPORT Essential to the simulations are the geometry of the driver’s environment, the

Essential to the simulations are the geometry of the driver’s environment, the seat and the cockpit area, the driver’s size, and ideally a crash pulse from an accident data recorder. The complete environment, including such elements as the driver’s helmet and the race harness, is modeled as a finite element model with what Wright describes as a “constantly increasing number of elements”. This will all be incorporated with the THUMS model into a simulation and the results analyzed. As road-going passenger vehicle crash testing using THUMS has evolved, Toyota has created a family of models, representing adult males, females, pregnant females, children, more elderly people, and such like. These will need to be adjusted for the racing application, as Dr Tjark Kreuzinger, senior manager of safety research and technical affairs at Toyota Motor Europe, explains. “GIMSS will define the kind of people we are testing – most racing

drivers are smaller than the average male,” explains Kreuzinger. “Racing drivers also have a more or less slouched seating position, which is very different from passenger car drivers – it’s a completely special environment. But our human models have to be adjusted anyway for every passenger vehicle that is under research as they are all very different – seating position, seatback, airbag specification and seatbelt pre-tensioners.” Wright adds that the conventional Hybrid III dummy used in crash tests is simply not designed to be put in the position adopted by racing drivers. “THUMS is very adaptable, you simply need to get the size right and put it in the correct position, which is defined by the geometry of the seat and such like.” After its initial phase, the research program will be widened, encompassing lateral impacts in LMP sports cars, and then in sedan and GT racing cars that employ protective nets in their side windows.

“THUMS is very adaptable, you simply need to get the size right and put it in the correct position, which is defined by the geometry of the seat and such like”

Peter Wright, senior research advisor, Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety

research advisor, Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety ABOVE (LEFT): Single-seater accidents can often be high-

ABOVE (LEFT): Single-seater accidents can often be high- speed incidents, particularly in IndyCar racing in the USA

LEFT: The latest study will evolve to look at sedan car racing such as British Touring Cars – the study of such incidents has highlighted the limitations of using dummies in simulations

ABOVE: Toyota has developed THUMS over two decades into a highly complex computer model that can provide a great deal of information to safety developers

that can provide a great deal of information to safety developers Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER

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MOTORSPORT

MOTORSPORT TOP: THUMS model of the driver when seated in an LMP1 car ABOVE: Anthony Davidson’s

TOP: THUMS model of the driver when seated in an LMP1 car

ABOVE: Anthony Davidson’s crash at Le Mans has led to the THUMS collaboration with the FIA and the first specific program focused on LMP1 sports cars

INSET: The single-seater racing environment is very different to the conventional application of THUMS and requires specifically tailored computer modeling

“The development of nets showed up major problems in using physical dummies for crash tests; it’s a very difficult area of research and raises many questions,” says Wright. “We suspect that THUMS might be the better tool for such tests.”

DIFFERENT LOAD

The final phase will study rally and off-road cars, which Wright describes as an area of motorsport with completely different safety challenges. “So far, we’ve looked at longitudinal impacts where the inclined seating position sends a lot of longitudinal deceleration up the spine, whereas in rally cars it is much more of a vertical impact – when they come off bumps and land heavily, there is a combined longitudinal and vertical load on the occupants. We are concerned about seating positions, particularly of the co-driver, who often is crouched over his notes when the accident occurs.”

The tests will be progressive, and Wright expects the results to determine progress of the program:

“We will look at the results and change direction if we need to – we have an overall four-year program, but it may change as a result of what we learn.” Meanwhile, Kreuzinger is not surprised Toyota’s research has attracted attention of the motorsport authorities: “Motorsport has been trying to increase safety for many years, and it’s only natural that now we have this tool – creating very sophisticated and unique environments – that the FIA will want to use it to improve motorsport safety. “It makes sense because they can only use crash test dummies in certain types of impacts – the level of assessment of race cars you can obtain by using dummies is limited, so it’s only natural to then look at human modeling.” Wright believes the final outcome of the four-year study will benefit all involved. “Toyota has this really wonderful model that it has spent the last 20 years developing and which takes a great deal of time to run on a supercomputer, and it has the people it needs to drive it,” he says. “We have the accidents and we need to do something about them. “The value to Toyota, we believe, is to help refine and develop THUMS, which of course is mainly a road-car development tool. It’s a good collaboration – motorsport provides data you just don’t get from road cars.”

“GIMSS will define the kind of people we are testing – most racing drivers are smaller than the average male. Racing drivers also have a more or less slouched seating position, which is very different from a passenger car driver’s environment”

Dr Tjark Kreuzinger, senior manager of safety research and technical affairs, Toyota Motor Europe

of safety research and technical affairs, Toyota Motor Europe 016 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017
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OEM INTERVIEW

In safe

hands

Ahead of the launch of the new XC60 compact crossover SUV later this year, Malin Ekholm, director of the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, discusses the Swedish manufacturer’s approach to developing crashworthy vehicles in the 21 st century

WORDS BY MATT JOY

crashworthy vehicles in the 21 s t century WORDS BY MATT JOY 018 Crash Test Technology
crashworthy vehicles in the 21 s t century WORDS BY MATT JOY 018 Crash Test Technology

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OEM INTERVIEW Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 019

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OEM INTERVIEW

ABOVE: The new XC60 during a frontal offset crash test. Volvo designed the car to slide to the side as the crash occurs, moving the passengers away from the barrier as much as possible

the passengers away from the barrier as much as possible Arguably, no OEM has demonstrated such

Arguably, no OEM has demonstrated such commitment to passive safety as Volvo has in its 90-year history. Long before safety provision was a saleable asset, and even as such concerns have fallen in and out of fashion with the car-buying public, the Swedish manufacturer has continually been at the vanguard of passive safety system technology development and innovation.

Contributing significantly to this drive toward innovation has been the Volvo Cars Safety Centre (VCSC); founded in 2000 and located between the company’s Torslanda factory and its technical center in Gothenburg in southwest Sweden, it has become

the focus for the brand’s activities and undertakes up to 400 vehicle crash tests per year.

“We carry out one or two crashes every day depending on how complex they are, and between

“We carry out one or two crashes every day depending on how complex they are, and between 350-400 crashes per year”

Malin Ekholm, director, Volvo Car Safety Centre

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350-400 crashes per year. Our crash laboratory facility

is fantastic. It was designed both for legal compliancy and rating testing but also from an R&D perspective,” explains Malin Ekholm, director of the VCSC. “I have 150 people reporting to me, all of whom understand the situations and the scenarios that need taking care of. They define the requirements and then verify everything.” The latest vehicle to undergo crash testing at the VCSC is the new XC60; it is the third product to come from Volvo under Chinese parent company Geely and the first of the smaller 60 series vehicles to be based on the Swedish OEM’s scalable product architecture (SPA), which is principally shared with the XC90, S90 and V90 models. Although there are major benefits in reducing development time by using shared components, and though prior knowledge of hardware brings an advantage in terms of expected results, testing remains just as intense as ever. “Every single car needs to be understood and developed on its own,” says Ekholm. “There are different dimensions in the front and the rear, and the scalability of the SPA platform means that we can design a completely different car. So, the XC60 needed to be tested in the same meticulous way that we did for the XC90.”

BALANCE OF POWER

For the XC60, Volvo turned to Livermore Software Technology Corporation’s LS-DYNA multiphysics

OEM INTERVIEW

OEM INTERVIEW Recognizing safety Such is Volvo’s commitment to furthering vehicle safety that the Swedish car

Recognizing safety

Such is Volvo’s commitment to furthering vehicle safety that the Swedish car maker was recognized earlier this year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for improving traffic safety and reducing fatalities and serious injuries on US roads. Per Lenhoff, senior manager, and Magdalena Lindman, technical expert in traffic safety data analysis, who work at the Volvo Cars Safety Centre, and contributed to the development of the new XC60, were honored for their work on systems such as run- off-road occupant protection and physical and CAE test methods that capture and replicate real-life crashes. “We are delighted to receive this recognition for our work,” comments

to receive this recognition for our work,” comments Lindman. “Our main goal is to make our

Lindman. “Our main goal is to make our roads a safer place for everyone. This is why Volvo places so much importance on understanding real- world data. We do not engineer our cars to just pass safety tests – we engineer them to save lives. That has always been our starting point.” Lindman and Lenhoff join a growing number of Volvo safety engineers that have received this award over the years for their work on groundbreaking safety innovations. “We’re very pleased that Magdalena and Per have received this recognition from NHTSA for all their outstanding work,” says Malin Ekholm. “Our vision is that no person should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.”

killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.” NO TIME FOR DUMMIES The

NO TIME FOR DUMMIES

The constant evolution of CAE software brings with it increased potential, in terms of shortening development times, reducing the need for expensive physical tests and improving results. Indeed, for Ekholm, it is the potential removal of another physical element in the crash test program that is of particular interest. “One very interesting trend is the development of next-generation virtual human body models, which you can work with within CAE development,” she says. “One of the challenges with crash test dummies

TOP: Using one fixed and one moveable test track, collisions can be adjusted from 0 to 90°. This allows for various tests to take place, including frontal impacts, rear-end collisions, side impacts, and collisions between two moving cars at different angles and speeds

ABOVE: The laboratory’s crash block weighs 850 tons and can be moved by using air cushions. Different crash barriers can be built on three sides of the block

simulation software. Some 30,000 simulations were performed during the new compact crossover SUV’s development phase, backed up by 60 full-scale vehicle crash tests. While the quality and value of simulation software continues to improve and play an ever-increasing part in vehicle development, Ekholm is keen to stress the validity of both methods in crash testing: “Using CAE, you can vary the vehicle’s speed, direction and adjust

the offset; if you perform a front-on crash, you can do

a

40% or 30% offset and that builds in a robustness. “When you perform a full-scale physical crash test

it

tends to be a one-off; you do it at one speed, in one

direction, using one barrier, and that is done both from a correlation perspective and for legal and rating purposes. Some physical tests, such as low-speed front impact tests, which don’t affect the vehicle’s structure, allow you to use the same vehicle for another test, such as a roof impact test. But most high-speed or high-impact tests mean that you can’t use the same

vehicle again. “So, there will always be a need for both methods, because the closer we can get to understanding the effects of a crash on a vehicle and its occupants in the virtual world, the closer we will get in the real world,” Ekholm adds. She also believes that “in the future, physical crash testing will be very much focused on reproducing what

is seen in the field”, however she maintains that there

will always be a “need to perform physical crash tests” at Volvo.

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OEM INTERVIEW

For the rollover test, an XC60 test vehicle was launched across from a hydraulic press at 50km/h (31mph) where it then rolled across the tarmac

“We work with dangerous scenarios where people have either been seriously injured or killed, which allows us to understand what actually happened in the car and to the people”

Malin Ekholm, director, Volvo Car Safety Centre

people” Malin Ekholm, director, Volvo Car Safety Centre ABOVE: The Volvo Cars Safety Centre’s crash test

ABOVE: The Volvo Cars Safety Centre’s crash test lab makes it possible for the OEM to replicate most accident scenarios that can occur in real-life traffic situations

is that they are unidirectional; there are side-crash dummies and front-crash dummies, but the human body and the situation in the field is multidirectional. “There are many great developments concerning virtual crash test dummies and all of the possibilities you have with multidirectional variations in size, so I think this – along with integration of biomechanical data into simulations – will be an exciting next step.”

FROM A&E TO R&D

In conversation with Ekholm there is an obvious pride that she takes in Volvo’s commitment to improving

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passive safety as well as its approach to overall vehicle development. Since the 1970s the company has been collecting data from real-life accidents involving Volvo cars, and this database contains in-depth knowledge about what happened to the vehicles and – where allowed – to the people involved, and what happened to them biomechanically. This data is then coded into Volvo’s database and cross-referenced with global data to provide a crucial insight into the performance of its cars in real-world crash situations. “We work with dangerous scenarios where people have either been seriously injured or killed, which allows us to understand what actually happened in the car and to the people,” Ekholm explains. “From there we can then develop better vehicle functionality and new innovations that help keep people safe, such as crumple zones in the seats and our Run-off Road Protection system. This all comes from having that detailed information.” Volvo also takes its research further, reproducing a real-life crash once or twice a year. “When you put crash test dummies into the vehicle, you get a lot of information about the forces and what the human body experiences in a crash,” Ekholm adds. “That’s where we learn a lot more.”

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AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS

Protect

and save

Pioneering collaborative research has led to the development of 10 crash test methods specifically designed to improve worker and patient safety in ambulances across the USA

WORDS BY SIMON PARKIN. ILLUSTRATION BY SCOTT GARRETT

USA WORDS BY SIMON PARKIN . ILLUSTRATION BY SCOTT GARRETT James Green, lead project officer and

James Green, lead project officer and safety engineer at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the US Department of Health and Human Services – recently asked a roomful of emergency services workers if any of them had ever worked in the back of an ambulance without wearing a seatbelt. Every single hand in the room went up. “Then I asked how many had ever been thrown to the floor while working,” recounts Green, speaking from NIOSH’s headquarters in Washington DC. Once again, every hand in the room went up. “You cannot talk to an EMS [emergency medical services] crew that hasn’t had some level of injury while in an ambulance,” he claims. “Often it’s just a bump or a bruise, but every time someone travels in the back of an ambulance unrestrained there’s the possibility of a much more serious injury.”

there’s the possibility of a much more serious injury.” 024 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017

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there’s the possibility of a much more serious injury.” 024 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017

AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS

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AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS

AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS “Our initial research opened a lot of people’s eyes because, during the frontal crash

“Our initial research opened a lot of people’s eyes because, during the frontal crash tests, the patient’s cot separated from the floor. It had never been crash tested before. That raised a lot of eyebrows”

James Green, lead project officer and safety engineer, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health INSET: Modular bodies are being improved to hold up

INSET: Modular bodies are being improved to hold up better during crashes as a result of NIOSH’s front, side and rear crash tests

A 10-year review of major ambulance crashes conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that 84% of medical staff working in the patient compartment were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the crash. Ambulance workers are not exceptionally reckless; wearing a seatbelt is merely at odds with the job’s demands, which often require unrestrained access to properly tend to a patient’s needs, collect supplies and communicate with the driver and the hospital. Ambulances are, nevertheless, at high risk of being involved in an accident. Between 1992 and 2011 there were an estimated 1,500 crashes annually in the USA involving an ambulance. “It’s not a safe place to be, in the back of a box, speeding down the interstate, highway or through busy city streets,” says Green, a former aerospace engineer with NAVAIR (US Navy Naval Air Systems Command). Despite the risks involved, the gross weight of an ambulance has meant that, in the USA and in many other countries, this type of vehicle falls outside of the requirements for standard crash testing. In fact, Green says that he is unaware of any ambulance safety standards around the world that are based on crash data. Green and his team at NIOSH have been working to change this.

STANDARD BEARERS

With co-funding from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, and in partnership with the ambulance manufacturing industry, NIOSH research has contributed to the development of 10 crash test methods, recently published by the Society of

of 10 crash test methods, recently published by the Society of 026 Crash Test Technology International

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of 10 crash test methods, recently published by the Society of 026 Crash Test Technology International
Newer cot retention systems are now available, replacing older antler systems AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS LEFT AND

Newer cot retention systems are now available, replacing older antler systems

AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS

LEFT AND BELOW:

Better seats are being used in ambulances, and manufacturers are doing dynamic tests on their seats in order to achieve this standard

BOTTOM: Portable devices are now being secured by brackets and cabinets (with improved latches) that hold securely when an accident occurs

improved latches) that hold securely when an accident occurs Automotive Engineers. The tests are tailored to
improved latches) that hold securely when an accident occurs Automotive Engineers. The tests are tailored to
improved latches) that hold securely when an accident occurs Automotive Engineers. The tests are tailored to

Automotive Engineers. The tests are tailored to the specific requirements of ambulances, and the hope is that they will lead to the development of improved patient and worker restraints, sturdier equipment mounts, a reduced risk of flying objects injuring occupants, and a stronger, safer patient compartment. “A larger vehicle such as an ambulance is stiffer than a car, so if it crashes it transmits more energy into the patient compartment,” explains Green. “If you compare the crash energy in a front, side and rear impact, it’s far greater than in a car. So these crash tests give us a much clearer idea of what the patient compartment in a stiffer, heavier vehicle must be able to withstand.” Crash testing an ambulance has a raft of specific requirements. For example, one of the crash tests examines the unique devices and mounts found in the rear of an ambulance. “Cars do not have a standard test for an equipment mount,” Green says. “Then our seats go in all different directions – forward, sideways, at 45° angles – so we had a unique challenge that you don’t see in passenger automobiles.” Another test examines the movement of an EMS worker’s head in a crash. “The more the head travels, the further away we have to put equipment in order to be safe,” says Green. “The head moves a tremendous amount when using just a regular lap belt, so we are trying to move people toward using a three-point belt as in automobiles.”

move people toward using a three-point belt as in automobiles.” Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017

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AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS

AMBULANCE CRASHWORTHINESS The first of NIOSH’s ambulance tests was carried out in 2003 in Toronto, Canada,

The first of NIOSH’s ambulance tests was carried out in 2003 in Toronto, Canada, in conjunction with the Canadian and US armies. At the time, in order to investigate crash safety in medical vehicles, the US Army had a small program that was run by David Tenenbaum, a PhD researcher who had broken both of his legs in the back of an ambulance while he was an EMS worker. “Our initial research opened a lot of people’s eyes because, during the frontal crash tests, the patient’s cot separated from the floor,” recalls Green. “It had never been crash tested before. That raised a lot of eyebrows. We also showed that the patient, even if using the harness, would slide more than 30cm along the cot and strike the worker.”

THE RIGHT RESTRAINTS

Green says that his ultimate goal is to improve worker safety. Fifteen years ago he was first introduced to ambulance worker safety in the patient compartment after reading research into the safety of transporting children in an ambulance. The research revealed how the majority of EMS workers travel unrestrained. Thinking back to his time working in the military, Green recalled how army helicopters are fitted with gunner’s restraints that allow soldiers to sit or stand in a vehicle. “I wanted to add that same type of system to an ambulance,” he says. Findings from the early test work in Canada made an immediate impact: some ambulances adopted these helicopter-style restraints for seated or standing workers. Aware of NIOSH’s work, NHTSA began to collect and collate injury data from ambulance crashes. Since then, 40 full crash investigations – many involving fatalities – have been carried out. Armed with this data, in 2009 Green was able to propose a follow-on project to develop the 10 test methods. Each test is carried out at a different test facility in the USA. The side impact testing, for example, is performed at a facility in Wisconsin, roll testing and rear impact in Indiana, and seating in Virginia. Using data gathered from the tests, Green has also collaborated with the National Institute of Standards and the US Department of Homeland Security on the development of a new compartment design guidebook. The guide enables vehicle manufacturers to work with EMS providers to redesign its ambulances according to specific requirements. “Those requirements can be wildly different,” says Green. “For example, an ambulance that works as a transport service needs different equipment to access

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028 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 Get to know the new methods Given the evolution

Get to know the new methods

Given the evolution of ambulance design, NIOSH’s research sought to enhance the structural integrity and
Given the evolution
of ambulance design,
NIOSH’s research
sought to enhance the
structural integrity and
crash survivability of both
the vehicle and occupant,
improving worker safety and
security while still allowing
them to do their jobs.
A seven-part video series
covering the development
of the 10 new crash test
methods (listed right) was
released in May to coincide
with this year’s National
Emergency Medical Services
Week. Some of those videos
can be viewed by visiting
1. SAE J2917: Crash pulse from frontal
impact
2. SAE J3026: EMS worker seating and
restraint integrity
3. SAE J3027: Patient cot, floor mount, and
restraint system
4. SAE J3043: Ambulance equipment mount
devices and systems
5. SAE J3044: Crash pulse from rear impact
6. SAE J2956: Crash pulse from side impact
7. SAE J3057: Modular body (or box style)
integrity
8. SAE J3058: Storage compartment integrity
9. SAE J3059: Measurement of EMS worker
http://bit.ly/2upUtXT.
head movement during a crash event
10. SAE J3102: Floor integrity test to hold
patient cot

the patient compared with an emergency response vehicle. But regardless of the requirements, I believe that the tools we have provided can enable you to design an ambulance that will keep EMS workers seated virtually all of the time and still allow them to reach their equipment.”

ADOPTION ISSUES

Though progress has undoubtedly been made, making these 10 crash tests a legal safety requirement for all ambulances in the USA remains a challenge. “Until someone adopts the 10 test methods and requires them in their state, it doesn’t necessarily translate into a change in ambulances,” says Green. “We are now getting the tests incorporated into the national standard as reference documents.” Once the tests are in the document, called the GSA purchase specification, they should be followed. “But we are finding that states and buyers have not been following it,” admits Green. “The regulatory process needs some reinforcement. It’s not black and white.”

ABOVE: Test results recommend that EMS agencies advocate for seatbelt use in the patient compartment, as well as for use of patient shoulder restraints at all times

well as for use of patient shoulder restraints at all times BELOW: The 10 new crash

BELOW: The 10 new crash test methods aim to create safer compartments in ambulances for both the patient and EMS worker

BELOW: The 10 new crash test methods aim to create safer compartments in ambulances for both
One Step Closer to the Future Introducing the Most Advanced ATD to Date THOR Test
One Step Closer to the Future Introducing the Most Advanced ATD to Date THOR Test
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Introducing the Most Advanced ATD to Date

to the Future Introducing the Most Advanced ATD to Date THOR Test device for Human Occupant
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LEGISLATION

LEGISLATION Frontal impact crash protection is legislated through the General Safety Regulation. It is however generally

Frontal impact crash protection is legislated through the General Safety Regulation. It is however generally agreed that a major step to improve frontal impact legislation and help worldwide harmonisation is to introduce an integrated set of tests containing both a full width and an offset test. A full width test is required to provide a high deceleration pulse to control the occupant’s deceleration and check that the car’s restraint system provides sufficient protection at high deceleration levels. An offset test is required to load one side of the car to check compartment integrity. An important step under consideration for the medium to longer term includes an improvement of protection for the full range of occupants. This could be addressed by using a full width crash test with the new generation THOR dummies. Two further steps would be to address occupant protection in case of small overlap collisions, as well as that of partner protection when two vehicles collide head-on, also known as crash compatibility. Euro NCAP assessed the frontal crash performance of a selection of vans and pickups using a 64km/h

(40mph) ODB test. Note that the Regulation 94 test has a speed of 56km/h (35mph). The good performance observed in these tests clearly show that both heavy M 1 as well as these N 1 vehicles have the possibility to meet the requirements of Regulation 94. Expansion of the scope is particularly important to further assess the vehicle’s fuel system integrity, protection against electrical shock (in case of EVs) and door latch resistance, as these are also assessed as part of the test procedure. Regulation 137 test speed is 50km/h (31mph), which is lower than the 56km/h (35mph) for US FMVSS 208. The basic set up consists of a 50th percentile Hybrid III male in the driver’s seat and a 5th percentile Hybrid III female in the front passenger position. Both dummies must meet a Thorax Compression Criterion (ThCC) of 42mm, compared with the current US chest compression of 62mm (1.65in) for the 50th Hybrid III and 52mm (2in) for the 5th Hybrid III albeit at the higher speed. By 2020, the companion 01 series of amendments would increase the ThCC stringency to 34mm (1.34in) for the 5th female ATD.

Accid

mitigation

The European Commission has published a report containing a list of technologies that it is aiming to make mandatory as part of its target to reduce road fatalities to below 15,000 across the EU by 2020. Here CTTI presents an abridged version of the report as it pertains to the Commission’s proposed crash test methods

WORDS BY EUROPEAN COMMISSION

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LEGISLATION

ent

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031

LEGISLATION

The European Commission has suggested that revisions to frontal crash tests, side crash tests and rear crash tests may help to reduce the severity of vehicle accidents when they occur

to reduce the severity of vehicle accidents when they occur The technical feasibility of protection against

The technical feasibility of protection against longitudinal small-overlap collisions is demonstrated by the response of OEMs to the new IIHS small overlap test. IIHS has used the Regulation 94 test (albeit at a higher test speed of 64km/h/40mph) to assess vehicles with a gross vehicle mass in excess of 2,500kg, thus demonstrating that the test is suitable for assessment of vehicles with a higher mass. Despite the fact that they are involved in similar accidents, in the past it was recommended that the scope of Regulation 94 should not be expanded to include heavier vehicles (> 2,500kg/5,512 lb and < 3,500kg/7,717 lb) because this may increase their stiffness and hence encourage them to become more aggressive. However, the introduction of a full width test should counteract this because if the vehicle is made too stiff then it will be unable to meet the requirements of Regulation 137. The Regulation 137 full width test is suitable for regulatory application. However, an EC study indicates that the benefits that it may deliver may not be significant because most current vehicles woud meet the requirements without modification. To deliver benefit THOR Hybrid III dummies (which are more biofidelic for thorax injuries) should be introduced into the test. The small overlap test used by the IIHS since 2012 would be suitable for regulatory application. Benefits could be significant because although the target population is not that large, effectiveness may be high because of countermeasures likely to reduce high cost head and lower extremity injuries.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side impact remains an issue on EU roads. Between 29 and 38% of all car crash fatalities occur in side collisions where 60% are seated at the struck side and 40% at the non-stuck side. To reduce the number of casualties here, an updated mobile deformable barrier, representing a larger and heavier car impacting into the side of the struck vehicle, could be introduced into the test. There is currently an exemption for vehicles with high seating positions because of a lack of dummy

with high seating positions because of a lack of dummy injury data due to barrier impacts

injury data due to barrier impacts low down below the height of the seated dummy. Thus, the test is not worthwhile from the point of view of occupant injury. However, fuel system integrity, protection against electrical shock and door opening are also assessed as part of the test. To assess these factors it is proposed that the exemption is removed. Note that the test for currently exempted vehicles could be performed without dummies to reduce cost. Vehicles perform well in the current Euro NCAP pole test, which is similar to the Regulation 135 one, which demonstrates clearly that current vehicles can meet the proposed test requirements. There now seems to be a sufficient technology base so that far-side protection can be evaluated and rated by side impact testing. The Regulation 135 pole impact test is suitable for regulatory application. Rear impact testing is not mandatory in the EU, but it has been regulated in the USA and Japan for many years, notably linked to fire-related deaths. Therfore it may be expected that many vehicles on the EU roads currently already comply with one or both countries’ standards. Modifying EU legislation to include a compulsory rear impact test would aid the process of harmonising vehicle regulations. For this purpose, it is recommended that the rear impact test in UNECE R34 is made mandatory for the EU. Also R34 should be updated to include post crash electrical safety as in Regulations 94 and 95 for the rear impact test. A mandatory rear impact test could be deemed much less relevant if the fuel tank is not located near the rear of the vehicle, notably behind the rear axle. We should however also not forget that post-crash electric safety should also be assessed as a part of the rear impact test when high voltage parts of electrically propelled vehicles are located at their rear. These conditions should therefore be incorporated in the existing regulation that can then be introduced on a mandatory basis as part of the review of the General Safety Regulation.

Acknowledgement This article is based on the European Commission’s report to the European Parliament and the European Council, Saving lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU

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UNIVERSITY FOCUS

Damage

limitation

Innovative crash test simulation software developed by researchers at Queen’s University Belfast could help to improve the safety of composite-built passenger vehicles

WORDS BY MAX GLASKIN

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UNIVERSITY FOCUS

“Our central objective, however, is developing a truly predictive computation tool that minimizes the extent of physical crash testing required”

Professor Brian Falzon, head of school, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast

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Why is the BMW i3 underpinned with aluminum, even though it has carbon composite body

Why is the BMW i3 underpinned with aluminum, even though it has carbon composite body parts? And why does the Alfa Romeo 4C have aluminum crush tubes, despite being clad with composite panels? Put simply, there isn’t enough confidence that passenger- carrying carbon-fiber composite automotive structures can reliably absorb impact energies. Overcoming this lack of confidence will see composites being used in more of the vehicle widely to reduce weight. The difficulty, however, is that composites are more complicated than metals. Their characteristics can be changed in so many ways that simulations of their behavior on impact cannot be done reliably without having completed physical crash tests of the material. Currently, changes in the part being modeled, such as a new lay-up, may have to be preceded by more physical crash tests before any more simulations. So the time- and cost-saving benefits of virtual crashes are quickly lost through repeated real-world testing.

are quickly lost through repeated real-world testing. UNIVERSITY FOCUS Now a US$4.5m EU-funded project could

UNIVERSITY FOCUS

lost through repeated real-world testing. UNIVERSITY FOCUS Now a US$4.5m EU-funded project could change that, with

Now a US$4.5m EU-funded project could change that, with research into the development of state-of- the-art computational damage modeling that reduces the need for physical crash tests and makes it easier to predict accurately how a composite structure will behave on impact. The model is being developed and refined by Queen’s University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, in collaboration with McLaren-Honda F1, CRF (Fiat’s research center), Bombardier, DLR (German Aerospace Centre), and a host of other research organizations.

COMPLEX PHENOMENA

The five-year project is being led by Prof. Brian Falzon, head of Queen’s University Belfast’s school of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “The main challenge has been capturing the underlying physics of the complex phenomenon of composite failure and crushing, and representing it within a damage and fracture mechanics framework,” explains Falzon.

damage and fracture mechanics framework,” explains Falzon. ABOVE: The computational damage modeling tool being

ABOVE: The computational damage modeling tool being developed by Queen’s University Belfast could reduce the need for physical crash tests and see cars such as the Alfa Romeo 4C forego aluminum components in favor of carbon-fiber designs

BELOW: Using the software, OEMs can test how vehicles would withstand an impact, meaning changes can be made to designs to improve safety

Beyond modeling

The full title of the project being researched by Queen’s University Belfast is: Improving the
The full title of the project
being researched by Queen’s
University Belfast is:
Improving the crashworthiness of
composite transportation structures,
which means it includes a number
of work packages that go beyond
modeling. It is also about material
developments that can improve the
passive safety of vehicles.
“Some work packages are looking
at the introduction of nanoparticles
into composites,” says Prof. Brian
Falzon. “We are looking closely at
nanoscale constituents and whether
there are any nanoparticles that we
can introduce in order to improve
energy absorption. Can that be done
without compromising the properties
you want to preserve? That becomes
quite a complex problem.”
Some other functionalities of nano-
enhanced composites are also being
investigated. While they may not have
any immediate significance for road
vehicle crashworthiness, potential
future benefits cannot be ruled out.
“We are looking at how carbon
nanotube enhanced composites
might improve lightning-strike
protection for aircraft,” says Falzon.
“Even though carbon fibers are very
conductive, they are embedded in a
matrix, so the overall structure isn’t
very conductive. Aircraft wings have
to have a fine copper mesh spread
over them so that a lightning strike is
distributed. The industry is interested
in improving the conductivity of such
wings. We have looked at nanotube
assemblies incorporated within
resins to improve conductivity.”

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UNIVERSITY FOCUS

UNIVERSITY FOCUS “Our central objective, however, is to develop a truly predictive computation tool that minimizes

“Our central objective, however, is to develop a truly predictive computation tool that minimizes the extent of physical crash testing that is normally required”

Prof. Brian Falzon, head of school, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast

and Aerospace Engineering, Queen’s University Belfast ABOVE: The software allows researchers to perform finite

ABOVE: The software allows researchers to perform finite element based simulation of process modeling, damage and crushing of composite structures

Composites differ from metals in that their energy absorption is highly dependent on the lay-up (for some laminated structures) and fiber architecture (for woven lamina). “It’s actually also a function of the geometry,” asserts Falzon. “So if there are drastic changes in either the lay-up or the shape, for example, extensive coupon tests are required in order to capture those variations. Our central objective, however, is to develop a truly predictive computation tool that minimizes the extent of physical crash testing that is normally required.” To achieve this, Falzon and his fellow researchers have developed appropriate material characterization tests to the extract required damage parameters, such as intralaminar fracture toughness. “Through coupon crush tests, which showed excellent correlation with experimental results without the need for tweaking or calibration, we were able to extract how much energy was dissipated through things such as fiber breakage, delamination, matrix damage and friction.”

On the horizon

Modeling the crashworthiness of composite passenger vehicle parts may become even more complicated than they are now as newer materials are introduced. In preparation for this, Queen’s University Belfast’s EU-funded project is planning ahead. “We’re also looking at semi-structural thermoplastics. They are known as self-reinforced thermoplastics because instead of having carbon fiber as the reinforcement in a resin, the reinforcement is also made from the resin but is introduced at a different phase,” says Prof. Brian Falzon. “It’s just that the processing parameters are such that their material properties are different. You could get a dry fiber and, through controlled heating, melt the outer surface to give the matrix phase.” What has this innovation got to do with passive safety system testing? “We’re interested in its possible exploitation for pedestrian safety if you wanted to use a similar material on bumpers. Or it could have an application for the interior of a cabin,” says Falzon. “There’s a research project there into how we can optimize the various parameters of the reinforcement of the matrix to enhance energy absorption.”

there into how we can optimize the various parameters of the reinforcement of the matrix to
there into how we can optimize the various parameters of the reinforcement of the matrix to

In other words, the high fidelity of the model can reveal exactly how the energy is being dissipated in a crash event. And the model can be run again without a requirement for any more physical crash tests if the structure is altered but the material system remains the same. “Only a single test program is required for a given composite material system,” says Falzon. This will likely resonate with OEMs, who know all too well that minimizing physical testing reduces costs and saves time.

ECONOMIES OF SCALE

The starting point is to characterize the material at the ply level. “We refer to it as the mesoscale,” says Falzon. “The microscale is the fiber and matrix, and the macroscale is where you have a large structure, such as a part of a car.” At the mesoscale, every ply is modeled individually. “If we model a coupon we can predict exactly where the damage is happening, how much energy is being dissipated by fiber failure, how much by the matrix, and even how much by friction between all contact surfaces.” To model a whole structure at this level of detail, however, would be unrealistic computationally, but the data from the mesoscale model at the ply level can be exported to a macroscale model for large-scale crash analysis. “We can link the information we get from our mesoscale model to the larger computational model so that we can transfer information between scales,” says Falzon. Anything that makes cars safer and better has to be a good thing, particularly if there are savings in development times and costs. “There are some major benefits in exploiting this type of simulation and I would be interested to meet with OEMs to discuss the potential. We are already working with one Formula 1 team, which we see as a niche pursuit, and so any further development of our computational capability should receive much wider interest,” says Falzon. “I am interested in generating as much impact with this research as possible,” he says, “We have a model that we have been working on for many years. Like anything else in science, we’re continually improving it, and as the materials get more complicated we may need to tweak the model, like any bit of software. “I’ve had some initial talks with OEMs but it’s been easier to have interaction with the high end of the auto market and we’re doing that now, with F1. My deal is non-exclusive and now I really want to engage with a volume vehicle producer because that is where the real potential is.”

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COVER STORY

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COVER STORY In total, the expansive TFS building was made using around 7,000 tons of

COVER STORY

In total, the expansive TFS building was made using around 7,000 tons of steel – almost as much as that in the Eiffel Tower

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COVER STORY

COVER STORY Late last year Daimler opened its new crash test center at its technology center

Late last year Daimler opened its new crash test center at its technology center for vehicle safety (TFS) in Sindelfingen, a German town near Stuttgart at the

headwaters of the Schwippe River. Representing a nine-figure investment, it is the latest addition to

a locale that also boasts a new driving simulator,

climatic and aeroacoustic wind tunnels and driving integration center. Constructed over a three-year period, between the autumns of 2013 and 2016, the TFS is an imposing architectural feat. It measures 170 x 279 x 23m (558 x 915 x 76ft) on a 55,000m 2 (592,000ft 2 ) land area, and has thus been designed to be at the cutting- edge of passive safety system testing. As well as catering for conventional crash tests for passenger vehicles, the TFS’s circuit concept also makes new test configurations possible, including vehicle-to- vehicle collisions from all angles, automated driving maneuvers with a subsequent crash, and crash tests with trucks. In total, around 70 different crash configurations are possible, including frontal crashes (with varying degrees of overlap), rear impacts, side impacts with moveable barriers and lateral pole impacts, as well

as rollover tests. Furthermore, a new test sled facility has been installed to evaluate components and all- new methods to measure vehicles before and after a crash have also been implemented. There are also angled tracks, a gradient/rollover ramp for rollover tests and a test stand for head impact tests. The TFS has also been future-proofed to meet next-generation test requirements. For example, its longest crash track is more than 200m (650ft) and there are five crash blocks (weighing up to 540 tons), including one that is moveable and another that can be rotated around its vertical axis. To enable efficient operation, both these blocks are preconfigured with

a different barrier on each of their four sides. Thanks

to a mobile portioning system, up to four crash tracks can be in operation at the same time. “With the test facilities at the new TFS, we can not only cover the requirements of current legislation and rating standards, but we are also equipped for the future,” says Dr Rodolfo Schöneburg, head of vehicle

Drop and roll As well as conducting the 40 different impact configurations required for ratings
Drop and roll
As well as conducting the 40 different
impact configurations required for ratings
and worldwide vehicle homologation at
the TFS, Daimler’s safety engineers also perform
their own in-house crash tests. These include
the roof-drop test, where a vehicle body falls
from a height of 50cm (19.7in) and at a slight
incline onto the roof structure, so that initially
only one of the two A-pillars is affected. In this
load case the test regulation only allows defined
plastic deformation in order to maintain the
protective area. In addition, a new rollover test
used to verify airbag deployment logic and
validate automatic emergency call systems sees
a vehicle accelerated onto a 2m-high (6.6ft) sled
and fed onto an inclined 20m-long (65.6ft) ramp,
which can be adjusted from 25° to 50°.

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20m-long (65.6ft) ramp, which can be adjusted from 25° to 50°. 042 Crash Test Technology International
20m-long (65.6ft) ramp, which can be adjusted from 25° to 50°. 042 Crash Test Technology International

COVER STORY

“With the test facilities at the new TFS, we can not only cover the requirements of current legislation and rating standards, but we are also equipped for the future”

Dr Rodolfo Schöneburg, head of vehicle safety, Mercedes-Benz Cars

Did you know?

• Side markings that resemble QR codes along the crash tracks provide orientation to a drone that flies along the track before a crash to ensure no personnel are there.

• Glass panels covering the pits are 11cm (4.3in) thick and can withstand the weight of trucks.

• TFS personnel can cover the facility over long distances using three-wheeled electric scooters called ants. They have a top speed of 22km/h (13.7mph) and can carry up to 50kg (110 lb) of items with an additional luggage carrier.

• The 120 crash test dummies housed at the TFS cost up to US$828,000 in total, and are brought from the store to the temperature-controlled dummy lab by a lift system.

• Following a crash test, the test vehicle is rotated 360° around its longitudinal axis by a turning mechanism to assess fuel tank leak tightness.

• Mercedes-Benz’s first-ever crash test took place on September 10, 1959, on open ground close to the Sindelfingen plant, with a test vehicle driven head-on into a solid obstacle.

• Daimler’s current development program for new ready-to-produce models comprises some 15,000 realistic crash test simulations and more than 150 physical crash tests.

• Some sled tests at the TFS allow non-destructive testing of bodyshells and individual components such as restraint systems.

• Before a crash, test vehicles are accelerated up to top speed within seconds using steel cables driven by electric motors.

• At least one test bodyshell for each Mercedes- Benz model series is kept in stock at its high-bay warehouse for testing in the workshops below.

• Daimler opened its first crash test facility in 1973.

at its high-bay warehouse for testing in the workshops below. • Daimler opened its first crash

ABOVE: Guests to the official opening of the TFS in December 2016 witnessed the new E-Class undergoing crash evaluation

FAR LEFT: There are around 120 ATDs, which are prepared for tests in a temperature-controlled workshop. Each of the dummies has up to 220 measuring points

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• Shock:
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• Photosensitivity:
up to 16,000 ISO monochrome
up to 6,400 ISO colour
High Speed Vision GmbH
Pforzheimer Str. 128 A | 76275 Ettlingen | Germany
fon: +49 (0)7243 94757-0 | fax: +49 (0)7243 94757-29
mail: info @ hsvision.de
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New! FINAL Tank
New! FINAL Tank
New! FINAL Tank

COVER STORY

safety at Mercedes-Benz Cars. “This applies both to future crash test configurations and to new vehicles with alternative drive systems or assistance systems.” Thanks to the new operating concept and system layout, around 900 crash tests and 1,700 sled tests can be carried annually out at the TFS. So it’s clear that passive safety remains a priority at Daimler, even in an age when nearly all modern cars are equipped with numerous assistance systems that maintain their awareness at junctions or in stop-and-go traffic. “The principal goal is to prevent accidents,” says Schöneburg. “When this proves unsuccessful, the aim is then to mitigate the consequences of an accident. This is where passive safety continues to be important, maintaining an intact passenger compartment and giving the best possible occupant protection with restraint systems. “It may be that, owing to the great advances in vehicle assistance systems in recent years, there is an impression that nothing really new is to be expected in the field of passive safety. This however is a false impression.”

BUILDING THE FUTURE

While construction of the TFS began in 2013, its genesis dates back more than 10 years, when initial planning established a list of exacting requirements. Indeed, with hundreds of millions of dollars being ploughed into the new building, the TFS represents one of Daimler’s biggest-ever projects. Challenges included a stipulation that no pillars were to be allowed in the crash test hall, which has resulted in an unsupported roofed area measuring 90 x 90m (295 x 295ft) – larger than an international soccer field. To achieve this obstacle-free design, five large steel cross-members (each weighing 210 tons), 7,000 tons of steel and 36,000m 3 (1,270,000ft 3 ) of concrete (equivalent to a 40km-long [25-mile] line of concrete mixer trucks) were used. As a result, the area is suitable for vehicle-to-vehicle evaluations (such as a fishhook and lane changes) with impact angles from 0° to 180°. Here, a variable above- ground rail system is installed in the floor of the track for attachment of steel cables. Increments of 15° are preconfigured, but any angle is possible. Furthermore, if the rail system is not needed it can be removed to create a large, level surface for other evaluations, such as braking or skid tests.

ABOVE: The moveable block, weighing more than 110 metric tons, can be laser-controlled

BELOW: With four tracks in total, Messring’s M=Sync control system enables up to four areas to be operated at the same time

enables up to four areas to be operated at the same time In the crash hall,

In the crash hall, test vehicles are accelerated to impact speed by a cable pulley system powered by

DC electric motors with a rated output of higher than

600kW. Thanks to an innovative redirection system,

acceleration in both directions is possible. However, work is currently underway to allow test vehicles (including EVs and FCEVs) to be freely programmable

and move under their own power.

“The conventional method meant accelerating the vehicle along the crash track using a draw table,” says Schöneburg. “This meant that vehicles could only travel in a straight line before the impact. The key

feature in the TFS is that in the foreseeable future we will for the first time be able to actuate the vehicle’s accelerator, steering and brakes directly, enabling cornering and more complex driving maneuvers.” Daimler says it plans to make this possible by using a dedicated interface that negates the need for an onboard steering or gearshifting robot, which would otherwise occupy the space required for crash

test dummies.

Other challenges included a requirement for

the floor of the crash tracks to be perfectly level, a

necessity for test procedures with mobile barriers, where lateral impacts are simulated. As such, the maximum tolerance of the floor is 5mm per 100m (0.2in per 328ft). Below surface level, a temperature- controlled floor slab (which uses waste heat from the adjacent climatic wind tunnels to maintain a constant temperature in the hall) rests on 500 concrete pillars

driven 18m (59ft) into the ground.

Furthermore, glass-paneled pits 5m (16ft) below

the collision points of the crash tracks house high-

X marks the spot

With the Fraunhofer Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI), in Freiburg, Germany, Daimler is
With the Fraunhofer Institute
for High-Speed Dynamics,
Ernst-Mach-Institut (EMI), in
Freiburg, Germany, Daimler is testing
the application of x-ray technology
in crash tests for the first time at the
Tech Center i-protect. Here, ultra-
fast x-ray technology produces still
images of defined areas in razor-
sharp quality during a crash test
and looks inside safety-relevant
components to assess their behavior.
Furthermore, the data from the
x-ray can then be combined with
computer-based simulation models
to improve the reliability of crash
simulations in forecasting the effects
of real-life crashes.
The teams are also investigating
alternative restraint concepts,
specifically with regard to the highly
automated nature of driving in the
future. In the virtual world, muscle-
controlled movements mark a major
step towards active use of the digital
human body model in place of the
dummy in the development of new
preventive protection concepts.
dummy in the development of new preventive protection concepts. Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 045

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045

COVER STORY

COVER STORY speed cameras (capable of capturing up to 1,000 images per second) that film the
COVER STORY speed cameras (capable of capturing up to 1,000 images per second) that film the

speed cameras (capable of capturing up to 1,000

images per second) that film the impact from below.

A guiderail, measuring 70mm (2.8in) rather than

180mm (7in) as in the previous system, means that nearly the entire underbody of a vehicle can be filmed – something that wasn’t previously possible.

ABOVE: Being able to crash test trucks is a huge advantage for Daimler, which also develops its own standards and methods

RIGHT: Component evaluation also forms a bulk of the work carried out at the center, with around 1,700 sled tests able to be conducted per year

BELOW: Each vehicle is carefully measured at every point – in a pre-crash and post-crash state

BOTTOM: The TFS is the latest addition to Mercedes-Benz’s expanded Technology Centre in Sindelfingen. It neighbors a driving simulator, wind tunnels and Powertrain Integration Centre

HEAVY DUTY

Thanks to its considerable size, the TFS also enables reproducible crash tests with heavy commercial vehicles in an enclosed hall for the first time in Daimler’s history. Here, 7.5-ton semitrailer tractors or trucks with a width of around 2.55m (8.4ft) and height of up to 4m (13ft) can be tested at speeds of between 20km/h and 50km/h (12.4mph and 31mph), reflecting real conditions. Two impact tests with two Mercedes-Benz Actros models (a three-axle 2548 L tractor with mounted swap body and a two-axle 1845 LS semitrailer tractor) have been performed in the new complex so far. Both involved a truck driver being suddenly confronted with the end of a traffic jam and colliding with a stationary semitrailer combination. Other major crash tests carried out at the TFS for trucks include impacts against a solid wall with

full overlap; front crashes between a truck and a car,

at different speeds, degrees of overlap and impact

angles; driving up a rigid, 200mm-high (7.9in) curb barrier at 40km/h (25mph); and impacts at 50km/h (31mph) against a post on the driver’s side. This new capability is made all the more important owing to the fact that licensing authorities currently prescribe one pendulum impact test according to ECE R 29/3 for trucks, with a 1.5-ton weight impacting the front and roof of the cab and a 1.5- ton weight impacting the A-pillars. Likewise, no independent test body such as Euro NCAP currently exists. “With these crash tests, our engineers will be able to achieve further decisive advances in the safety development of our

further decisive advances in the safety development of our 046 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017
further decisive advances in the safety development of our 046 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017

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Crash Test Technology International

SEPTEMBER 2017

trucks,” enthuses Dr Uwe Baake, head of product development at Mercedes-Benz Trucks. “We [will] save lives with the findings obtained from these crash tests.”

REFINE AND MEASURE

For the fine-tuning of restraint systems, including seatbelts, airbags and child seats, TFS engineers can conduct tests on four different sled systems (which

can be transferred to the test facility without the use of a crane) covering an acceleration/deceleration range from 0-120 g. Two of the sleds are powered by linear electric motors in order to meet reproducibility and precision requirements for acceleration and destructive crash tests. Daimler engineering staff have also developed

a tandem sled procedure for filming sled tests

themselves. Previously a camera was mounted on a boom, which had to be accelerated and braked along with the sled, reducing its payload. However, in the new system a tandem sled fitted with cameras on each side moves in parallel with the test sled. The two other systems are a hydraulic catapult system and a hydrobrake and sled that is decelerated by a defined hydraulic braking action. Daimler says that the new sled mounting concept is a major feature of the sled testing area. In order to reduce moved masses, bumper cars and body sleds are functionally separated. A hovercraft is used throughout, allowing for vibration-free movement of the test structures and crash test dummies. Elsewhere, vehicles are measured before and after

a crash test to reconcile data with simulation analysis. The pre-measurement process involves the use of photogrammetry, an optical measuring procedure to determine the deformation at certain points of a test vehicle. The outer skin of a vehicle is also scanned before and after a side impact. For this, the vehicle rotates around a fixed scanner on a turntable in a semi-automated operation, with only the height and distance of the scanner needing to be manually adjusted. However, fully automatic scanning, which also eliminates this manual adjustment, is being planned for the future.

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76275 Ettlingen | Germany fon: +49 (0)7243 94757-0 | fax: +49 (0)7243 94757-29 mail: info @

Driven

by demand

Developments in crash test dummies mean that advancements in technology and expansion in capabilities are a must

WORDS BY KARL VADASZFFY

ABOVE: Q Series dummies are used in testing by Euro NCAP and given a child seat rating

Founded in 1998, Cellbond is a specialist in energy absorption and vehicle safety testing. As a designer and manufacturer of passive safety test equipment, its range of products and services includes energy absorbers, deformable barriers, Flex-PLI, headform impactors and crash test dummies. Based in Cambridgeshire, the British company’s facilities include two manufacturing premises and an ATD test facility in Huntingdon, from where more than 92% of its products are exported to markets that include Japan, China, South Korea, India, Malaysia, the USA and Europe. An office and distribution facility in Japan, as well as additional offices in the USA, Spain and Germany, house Cellbond’s 180 employees. The Huntingdon ATD test facility comprises various equipment for certification of Q Series dummies, HIII dummies, Flex-PLI and pedestrian head impactors.

HIII dummies, Flex-PLI and pedestrian head impactors. SUPPLIER INTERVIEW: CELLBOND This includes a pendulum rig

SUPPLIER INTERVIEW: CELLBOND

This includes a pendulum rig for assessing dynamic bending characteristics of necks and lumbers; a drop test rig for assessing the resultant force on heads and head impactors (measured in g ); a dummy impactor, primarily for analyzing chest deflection; a test rig for assessing abdomen displacement with respect to time; and a high-energy dynamic rig used for assessing the bending characteristics of pedestrian leg impactors. The facility has ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and ISO 17025:2005 accreditation, the latter “a crucial step in opening up global markets and expanding our range of products and services”, according to Cellbond founder and managing director, Dr Mike Ashmead.

BUILDING EXPERTISE

Cellbond’s involvement in ATD technology began in 2010 and was in large part due to customer demand. Its Q3 Series dummy and Flex-PLI were launched in

Crash Test Technology International

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049

SUPPLIER INTERVIEW: CELLBOND

2016, and its second dummy, the Q10, followed earlier this year. The Q6 Series dummy, which will be used for Euro NCAP testing, has just been released. Measurements on these dummies include rates of acceleration of the head, loads on the neck and lumbar, and deflection of the chest with the information recorded on an onboard DAS. Ashmead explains that one of the challenges when the company decided to enter the crash test dummy market was understanding how to optimally produce “the hugely sophisticated and complicated technical dummies. We decided that the best way was to start with more straightforward items and then build our expertise as we progressed”. To that end, Cellbond started by manufacturing head impactors, which Ashmead says was invaluable because it gave his staff molding experience. Development of the Q3 and the Flex-PLI followed. “Understanding molded rubber and plastic materials has been one of the biggest engineering challenges,” he says, “because there are so many different types, and they all react differently. We have spent a lot of time understanding the static and dynamic properties of the materials, and how they behave, in order for us to meet important performance corridors.” Early demands from customers included improved durability and an uninterrupted supply of spare parts. “We always have spare parts readily available,” says Ashmead, who adds that not only does Cellbond manufacture all its dummy products, but it also takes responsibility for the lifetime of the dummy. “Ultimately, we want to provide a path of efficient turnaround for testing, and we take a lead during every step. Customers can have all their certification testing done at our facilities in Huntingdon, or we are open to supplying test equipment to customers so that they can do their own certification. We will also test competitors’ dummies because we believe that certification is just as important as building the dummy itself.”

R&D EXPANSION

The company is currently working toward the very ambitious target of having its THOR dummy, which will be used in Euro NCAP testing, on the market by September 2018. Considerable investment has already taken place, but Ashmead aims to add 30% more staff

RIGHT: Founder and managing director of Cellbond, Dr Mike Ashmead, plans to increase the size of his engineering team by 30% to meet customer demand

BELOW: Cellbond manufactures adult and child pedestrian headform impactors and skins. The materials used for headform impactors are developed and certified to satisfy test corridors, and can be supplied separately

BOTTOM: A Q-Series abdomen compression jig is used to certify all Q-Series dummy abdomens

jig is used to certify all Q-Series dummy abdomens “Understanding molded rubber and plastic materials has
jig is used to certify all Q-Series dummy abdomens “Understanding molded rubber and plastic materials has

“Understanding molded rubber and plastic materials has been one of the biggest engineering challenges because there are so many different types, and they all react differently”

Dr Mike Ashmead, founder and managing director, Cellbond

050

Crash Test Technology International

SEPTEMBER 2017

050 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 to his engineering team to deliver on his commitments

to his engineering team to deliver on his commitments to Cellbond’s customers. “It was a step-change moving from a head impactor to a Q Series dummy, and now it’s an equally large step-change moving from the Q family to the THOR, primarily due to the complexity of the design and the sheer number of channels of instrumentation on it.” As a result, there are planned investments for Cellbond in facilities required to conduct the testing and certification of THOR; due to the number of channels, there are more than 30 tests on each dummy. “Building THOR is only half of the story,” Ashmead states. “Ensuring we have all the correct test facilities and capabilities to do the testing is the other side to it.” Expansion is, therefore, planned in the USA and Japan, and locations will be strategically chosen to be near where customers are located. In addition, R&D expansion is planned for mainland Europe, the company’s response to the challenges of, and uncertainty surrounding, Brexit. “Being involved in European projects is very important to us,” Ashmead explains. “We know that we might need a branch in Europe to facilitate our involvement in more European projects in the future.”

GROWING IN STATURE

Since Cellbond entered the crash test dummy market seven years ago, Ashmead says that the industry’s perception of his company has changed: “A lot of our work was initially based on information in the public domain that was generated through international working groups, which is where all crash test dummies start their lives. However, as we have become more established, we have been asked to contribute toward these working groups, including working with an ISO Group to develop aPLI, a new pedestrian leg safety assessment tool.” Cellbond is also investing in finite element analysis, aiming to provide finite element information on the products it designs, and Ashmead says he’ll continue to strive to meet the company’s ambitious targets. “In the future, we will be able to give customers 100% support for every current dummy in use, either as spares or the full dummy, and the desire for this is again driven by customer demand.”

Escribano designs, produces and supplies advanced systems and innovative technologies specially developed for meeting the
Escribano designs, produces and supplies advanced systems and innovative technologies specially developed for meeting the
Escribano designs, produces and supplies advanced systems and innovative technologies specially developed for meeting the

Escribano designs, produces and supplies advanced systems and innovative technologies specially developed for meeting the most demanding testing requirements.

ƒ Crash-test Facilities and Crash Simulation Sleds

ƒ Pedestrian Protection Test Systems

ƒ Interiors Impact Test Systems

ƒ Seats Test Systems and Belt-anchors Test Benches

ƒ Bumper Pendulums

ƒ Speed Measurement Devices

ƒ Servo-controlled Test Benches and 6 DoF Simulation Platforms

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Motion analysis

When conducting motion analysis of high-speed photography there are several key points to consider to ensure accuracy and efficiency

key points to consider to ensure accuracy and efficiency Motion tracking analysis is widely used in

Motion tracking analysis is widely used in crash testing to analyze elements such as the dummy, seat belt, steering wheel column and airbag deployment. These analyses are used by automotive manufacturers and suppliers in R&D. Meanwhile standards such as Euro NCAP also require target tracking in videos, for instance to measure the head rebound velocity and the seatbelt dynamic deflection in a whiplash test. Motion-tracking software provides powerful tools to analyze crash tests. Image analysis constraints must be carefully monitored to make sure the final measurement is accurate. The characteristics of the camera should be chosen according to the test and the highest possible quality video should be taken. The tracking software should also be carefully chosen and the actual tracking carried out extremely precisely. The ISO 8721 and SAE J-211/2 regulations define protocols to check the quality of measurements. Orme, a specialist in video acquisition and processing, offers software tools such as TrackImage and TrackReport to help its customers set up tests according to these measurement standards. While TrackImage performs automatic motion analysis in videos, TrackReport offers dedicated modules and processes to analyze and prove the accuracy of

modules and processes to analyze and prove the accuracy of ONLINE READER INQUIRY NUMBER 501 052

ONLINE

READER

INQUIRY

NUMBER 501
NUMBER
501

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501 052 Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 TrackImage calculates all the dynamic parameters of the

TrackImage calculates all the dynamic parameters of the system under test

the measurements and the compliance with these standards. Orme also provides a full program of training sessions at customers’ facilities. When selecting the camera, two aspects should be taken into account – the camera rate and the resolution. The frame rate should be high enough to enable motion tracking of the object under test. Typically, high-speed cameras are used in crash testing with frame rates of 1,000fps, or for airbag static tests up to 400fps.

Here the spatial resolution is important as it defines the final resolution of the analysis. Once the camera characteristics and position have been defined, in order to ensure the best possible image quality, a number of other features should be taken into account and adjusted accordingly – including image exposure, reflections, depth of field, motion blur and camera time synchronization. The image exposure in particular will have a large influence on the quality of the tracking. An over-exposed or under-exposed image will be less accurate as it will have a lower contrast, making it more difficult for the algorithms

to precisely track points. This can be addressed by correctly adjusting various parameters, such as the exposure time, aperture and sensor sensitivity, as well as lighting. Reflections in the image can also affect the quality of the tracking. A reflection will usually have high contrast and move independently of the object motion. The tracking may therefore be affected if a reflection occurs near the target being tracked. The position and orientation of the light should therefore be adjusted to avoid reflections. Matt paint on targets or objects could also help. Images must also be as sharp as possible. The more

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES “Reflections in the image can also affect the quality of the tracking. A
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES “Reflections in the image can also affect the quality of the tracking. A

“Reflections in the image can also affect the quality of the tracking. A reflection will usually have high contrast and move independently of the object motion”

blurred the image, the more difficult it will be to achieve good tracking accuracy. For this reason, setting the depth of field, which mainly depends on the aperture of the lens, is very important. A large aperture will result in a low depth of field. The high speed of objects in the scene can also create motion blur in images due to the time integration of the camera. A low integration time enables the movement within each image to be frozen better. Finally, in the case of 3D measurements, several cameras must be used to observe the motion from different angles and enable the analysis software to compute the 3D positions using space calibration and triangulation algorithms. All the cameras should be perfectly time- synchronized to ensure that the target positions are acquired at exactly the same time. Camera hardware should be synchronized either with an external trigger or by setting up one camera as a master to drive the others. The choice of analysis software is also a decisive factor in the precision of the

results, both for the accuracy of the tracking and the estimation of this accuracy. Orme recommends a complete list of features to ensure the quality of tracking. First, the user has to determine if 2D tracking is sufficient. 2D tracking can be used only when the motion is approximately an actual 2D motion. Otherwise 3D analysis should be performed, which can be done using more than one camera. Even in the case of 2D tracking, the depth of the motion needs to be estimated and corrected to achieve accurate measurements. When the camera cannot be placed perpendicular to the plane of interest, the projection and perspective also need to be corrected.

It is therefore essential that

the software is able to make

a perspective correction in

order to avoid misalignment between the camera and the plane of motion. Second, the software should provide a lens calibration feature to correct any distortions in the images. Lens distortion effects are often not easily visible, but

even a good-quality lens can still affect the objects by one or more pixels on the edges of the images, which reduces accuracy. Subpixel resolution should be used to improve the measurement resolution. An important feature of the motion tracking software is its ability to perform actual subpixel tracking to gain accuracy in the calculations. Third, some points may not be seen during the test as they may be completely or partially hidden. A way to solve this is to define virtual points linked to other points, which can be tracked all over the test on the same rigid body. For instance, the H point, which is the pivot point between the torso and the upper leg portions of the body,

is generally not visible on the video but can be tracked

using two points on the hip. To improve both the measurement precision and resolution of high-speed videos, the Orme software application TrackImage provides specially developed algorithms to correct lens distortion and parallax effects, achieve subpixel tracking in

ABOVE (CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT): Crash test analysis in TrackImage and TrackReport; high-resolution subpixel tracking in TrackImage; accuracy analysis according to SAE J-211/2

2D and 3D, and compute and track virtual points. To ensure the quality of measurements in crash tests, regulations such as ISO 8721 and SAE J-211/2 have been developed. They define a method to compute indices, which will enable testers to evaluate the quality of the measurement chain. Orme provides training sessions on regulations at customers’ locations, as well as predefined templates in TrackReport to automate analysis and reports.

templates in TrackReport to automate analysis and reports. ‹ Crash Test Technology International SEPTEMBER 2017 053

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In-dummy DAS

The capabilities of the new THOR crash test dummy have been augmented by integrated data acquisition – especially for high channel count tests

data acquisition – especially for high channel count tests Euro NCAP has stipulated that by 2020

Euro NCAP has stipulated that by 2020 automotive manufacturers and crash labs must use the new Test device for Human Occupant Restraint (THOR) – the successor to the Hybrid III – test dummy for frontal impact testing on new cars. With the deadline fast approaching, companies are embracing the

new technology and are beginning the transition process as quickly as possible. Many capabilities that this new ATD offers were previously unattainable. Pair the lifelike dummy’s unprecedented channel capabilities with an embedded data acquisition system (DAS), and a realm of new possibilities unfold that are

not only advancing safety, but also making a clear case for in-dummy DAS. THOR is an advanced next- generation ATD designed for frontal crash safety testing. Compared with its 40-year- old predecessor, THOR supports many more sensors and offers greater sensitivity to measure acceleration, deflection, chest compression,

and forces on the pelvis and legs. THOR has a more human-like spine and pelvis, better articulated joints, and can deliver facial impact analysis to accuracies not previously possible. The standard THOR is a 50 th percentile male available in three configurations with 118, 139 or 151 sensor channels. A 5 th percentile

THOR INTEGRATED IN-DUMMY SLICE NANO SOLUTION 1 2 SLICE NANO Embedded Data Acquisition System Distributed
THOR INTEGRATED IN-DUMMY
SLICE NANO SOLUTION
1
2
SLICE NANO
Embedded Data Acquisition System
Distributed Channels
3
4
DB
HEAD
1 & 2
BATTERY
12 CHANNELS
PER STACK
SPINE
3
& 4
5
24
CHANNELS
PER STACK
PELVIS
5
6
7 8
9
18
CHANNELS
PER STACK
LEGS
6 & 8
7 & 9
18 CHANNELS
15 CHANNELS
PER STACK
PER STACK
DB
SLICE DISTRIBUTOR
ONLINE
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LEFT: THOR integrated
with Slice easily supports
instrumentation packages of
more than 151 sensors

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female will be available in the future with in-dummy DAS incorporated as part of its design. The increase in the number of channels now possible in one dummy is impressive in an industry where 30 to 40 sensor channels per dummy was the norm not long ago. While testing has been shifting to embedded solutions, the reality is that with ATDs such as THOR and the new WIAMan blast dummy, without in-dummy DAS it

is difficult to benefit from the

full technological advantages

these test devices are designed

to offer. Efficiencies and biofidelity

aside, size does matter. Many

of today’s compact vehicles

simply don’t have enough space or weight allowance

to accommodate all the

instrumentation – especially with such high channel counts. THOR is compatible with conventional external DAS, but with that comes one

exit cable per sensor channel.

A trailing umbilical with 151

cables makes it virtually impossible to correctly position a fully instrumented THOR inside a vehicle, especially a small one. The giant mass of cables

can greatly affect kinematics,

as cables are easily caught

or tangled and there’s the added noise from extended cable runs. The cables also add considerable weight to the test setup. Precise vehicle target weights are important, not only in the overall mass, but in the distribution of the weight. One small exit cable vs. a giant umbilical, and the case for embedded DAS is clear. Today there are only a handful of firms building in- dummy DAS solutions. Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) was the first company

Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) was the first company to design in-dummy DAS in a regulatory dummy,
Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) was the first company to design in-dummy DAS in a regulatory dummy,

to design in-dummy DAS in a regulatory dummy, which

has revolutionized testing. “When the WorldSID ISO committee asked DTS to design the in-dummy DAS system, we decided on a 32-channel centralized system with the technology that was available. Today

the Slice Nano for THOR is a miniature distributed system. It’s much more configurable and robust, and there’s no comparison on the sampling speed and memory,” says Steve Pruitt, co-founder and president of DTS. DTS’s design approach has always been customer-driven. Focused on ease of use and flexibility, Slice supports virtually all conventional analog sensors, which makes sourcing, swapping, repairing and calibrating easy, plus there is no need to modify the transducers. If there is an

ABOVE: In-dummy DAS eliminates the added cable weight of conventional onboard DAS for a ‘zero-mass’ solution, and makes set-up much easier

LEFT: THOR head integrated with 24 channels of embedded Slice Nano, plus DTS ARS to measure rotational head motion

issue with a sensor or a data channel, either can be

unplugged and replaced on the spot. With the built-in sensor ID feature, the DTS DataPro software detects

if a sensor is plugged into

a different module, then

automatically finds it and applies all the current test settings. With well over one hundred channels in THOR’s head, thorax, pelvis, femurs, tibia and feet, the ISO test- builder module in DataPro increases test setup efficiency and compatibility with other labs’ test data. As a complete standalone data acquisition system, Slice takes the analog signal and conditions, filters and digitizes it. All data is written direct to 16GB flash memory. With

store in-place reliability, there

is no concern about losing

data, unlike with a centralized memory unit. As the sensors and DAS are not tied into one digital system, they can be calibrated and verified

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independently, which ensures full traceability and meets SAE J211 requirements. Dummy calibration is also easier because the instrumentation is already in place. Part of that calibration includes a pendulum test to the neck, knees, chest and other key injury criteria areas to ensure the ATD performs within specified biofidelity response corridors. If a particular segment tests outside the specifications, replacement hardware and/or new dummy ‘flesh’ may be required. No matter the business, time is money, so keeping test schedules on track is also important. Quick test setup is one big advantage to embedded DAS. The dummy and all the hardware can also be fully validated prior to arriving at the test site. Polarities and test settings are all checked in the ATD lab, where problems can be repaired before wasting valuable test or track time. A quick diagnostics check at the

test site before the dummy is

positioned can be done in a matter of minutes (rather than close to two hours with an off- board system). At many test facilities, efficiencies with in-dummy DAS are resulting in production increases in the form of more tests completed per day. As infrastructure and capital expenses for a crash barrier, track or sled can cost millions of dollars and consume a large amount of real estate, being able to increase the number of tests without having to build a new facility or add equipment is a direct financial benefit.

“There’s no question that quick setup is one area where the true ROI of in-dummy DAS comes into play – both in manpower and infrastructure,” says Pruitt.

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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Altran

 

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Improved low-speed testing

An advanced crash test rig has been redesigned to further accelerate sensor and bumper tests

redesigned to further accelerate sensor and bumper tests The low-speed crash behavior of vehicles is tested

The low-speed crash behavior of vehicles is tested and governed by regulations worldwide. Safety developers must ensure vehicles meet and exceed these requirements in a cost-effective way. Vehicles must also be designed to meet repairability ratings, evaluated by national bodies and insurance organizations worldwide. With the advent of active safety systems in vehicles, low-speed crash performance has become even more critical – taking into account repair friendliness and budget. A small amount of damage to a bumper, which could have been repaired fairly cheaply in the past, may now be much more expensive on a modern vehicle equipped with ADAS. And with the increasing raft of sensors, such as those applied in front-end systems (ultrasonic, radar, video, IR, pressure sensors, lidar), the challenges and costs associated with repairs increases further. Passive safety test experts must now face the challenge of testing and validating low-speed load cases. To do this they need to cover more crash scenarios, potentially investigate an increased number of vehicle variants and benchmark their product against other vehicle models. In order to address this challenge, engineers require an accurate, compact and cost-effective solution that can be easily integrated into existing test facilities.

that can be easily integrated into existing test facilities. The low-speed crash system is designed to

The low-speed crash system is designed to easily upgrade existing crash test facilities

Building on its tried and tested nitrogen-operated test platform, which is used worldwide by leading OEMs, Tier 1s and official test bodies, Altran has developed a new generation of its low-speed crash test system. The starting point for the design was the safe coverage of the following test cases: low-speed crash according to ECE-R42/Part 581/RCAR/AZT/IIHS; sensory analysis misuse tests with rigid wall (0°/±30°); and side jostle/curbstone and pole

(90°/75° to 32km/h [20mph], covering FMVSS 214 90° and 75°). Considering future test vehicle specifications, the system is able to repeatedly handle test units weighing up to 3.5 tons with a speed of up to 32km/h (20mph). Speed accuracy is within ±0.1km/h across the entire test envelope. Acceleration can be up to 1g. In order to ensure that the low-speed crash system can be easily and efficiently retrofitted into test facilities, the installation space requirement has been minimized. Also, the system is designed so that minimal modifications are required to the existing building. The low-

speed crash test system is easy to use and offers high-quality data evaluation capabilities; the unique design enables quick and effortless exchange of barriers and flying floors, while the film pit has an extremely wide field-of-view. As testing throughput is also important, a clever system design provides a streamlined workflow with reduced turnaround times thanks to the ease of setup of both the equipment and test system components. The newly designed barriers feature a hydraulic lifting system to enable quick exchange during test operation without requiring expensive – and

during test operation without requiring expensive – and ONLINE READER INQUIRY NUMBER 503 056 Crash Test

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often hard to install – crane systems. Furthermore, the

quick mounting system is extremely sturdy, easy to use, easy to maintain and simple to operate. For an RCAR-Front test scenario, the barrier

is equipped with four load

cells as standard to deliver consistent, accurate and quality measurement results. In RCAR-Rear scenarios, standardized trolley vehicles

with the specified barriers are provided. For IIHS bumper setups, the supplied impact unit and the barrier are also equipped with four load cells as standard, offering the possibility to also equip it with other instrumented crash barriers. Robust adapters, which mount quickly on the standard barrier, enable 0°/±30° rigid wall tests to be executed extremely easily. The curbstone/side-jostle test can also be conducted efficiently thanks to a special adapter that has functionality for testing in conjunction with

a flying floor. As well using

the flying floor, the system

is specifically designed to

execute sensor tests according to FMVSS 214 90°, 75° scenarios – relieving high- speed crash test facilities of those duties. As roll-in tests are often required to validate

speed settings, the flying floor

is equipped with an integrated

breaking system that enables experiments without a barrier installed. During a test, the acceleration forces acting on the dummy in the vehicle can

create undesired changes in seating position; Altran is currently in the process of researching and developing a revolutionary new dummy support system. In addition the new low-speed crash test system

features a completely redesigned flying floor. The total height of the unit has been reduced and side ramps assist the vehicle as it is driven onto the floor. Furthermore, stop edges with automatic decoupling before impact have been integrated into the unit. Also, the wide viewing window enhances optical measurement and visual inspection, which are vital parts of the evaluation process. Through optimization of the structural design and carefully selected materials, the overall weight of the moveable parts has also been reduced. The system is designed to be dismantled quickly and split into several easy-to-handle and easy-to- store parts. To ensure optimum optical

access to the underbody of the vehicle under test, the viewing

area needs to be completely clear. Although this cannot be completely avoided all the time as parts of the pulling system will still cross the viewing area, the design of the pulling rail reduces the maximum width of the cover

to a mere 70mm (2.7in). This exceeds the viewing area of most other systems currently available on the market. Thanks to the application of Altran’s tried and tested

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

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of Altran’s tried and tested PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 7 ABOVE AND LEFT: A range of load
of Altran’s tried and tested PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 7 ABOVE AND LEFT: A range of load
of Altran’s tried and tested PRODUCTS AND SERVICES 7 ABOVE AND LEFT: A range of load

ABOVE AND LEFT:

A range of load cases can be tested using low- speed crash test system

nitrogen-based actuation technology, facilities do not need extra high- power current supply and maintenance requirements are reduced to a minimum. In addition, permanent heavy-duty portal cranes are not required – for installation or operation – further saving on investment costs, while test facility location is also more flexible. Its compact size enables easy integration in both existing and greenfield facilities. With increasing demand for low-speed crash testing comes the need for quicker

delivery and installation times in order to ramp up testing faster. Altran has redesigned its manufacturing process, helping to reduce lead times on finished products greatly.

A modular design enables

high production efficiency, even for bespoke systems. The new low-speed crash system is in operation at Altran’s own facilities, for example in Germany, where,

on a daily basis, a wide range

of low-speed and sensor system

misuse tests are carried out –

and to date have proved extremely reliable, providing high-quality results.

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PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Messring

 

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Future-proof facilities

As the demands placed on crash test facilities become more complex and diverse, the need for forward-looking, innovative thinking becomes more important than ever

innovative thinking becomes more important than ever With the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles as

With the advent of connected and autonomous vehicles as well as hybrid and electric cars, the automotive industry is preparing for a major leap in innovation. The demands placed on new crash test facilities and systems are equally significant. Vehicle developers are planning for a future that, for some time, they were only able to imagine. This is a huge challenge for producers of testing platforms. Dierk Arp, CEO of Messring, which has installed more than 100 crash test facilities worldwide, says, “Our ability to develop tailored, innovative solutions with vehicle manufacturers and facility operators has never been so important as it is today. More and more customers need us to be a developer and a problem solver.” Messring stopped focusing a long time ago exclusively on the construction of crash test facilities and components and now considers general road safety trends, too. Research institutes have become more interested in working closely with facility manufacturers. For instance, on behalf of CARISSMA, the new center for road safety at Technical University Ingolstadt in Germany, Messring designed an innovative test platform that can simulate the interplay of active, passive and cooperative safety systems in any weather and/or

Messring helped design and develop the Mercedes- Benz TFS in Germany, which houses the supplier’s latest crash test technologies, such as the movable crash block. Image: Daimler

environmental condition. Messring is also increasing its focus on pedestrian safety. At its headquarters in Krailling near Munich, the company recently developed a new motion system for pedestrian dummies that can simulate human movement patterns in a highly realistic way, which is essential in the testing of pedestrian protection assistance systems. Vehicle makers will also benefit from the development

expertise of the company.

A current example is the

Mercedes-Benz technology center for vehicle safety (TFS)

in Sindelfingen, which was

commissioned in late 2016. Messring played a key role in planning, developing and implementing that facility. The TFS center houses cutting-edge technologies, enabling car-to-car tests with self-driving and propelled vehicles, assistance system configuration, and crash

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testing of vehicles with alternative drive systems. In the future it will be possible to synchronize self-driving and propelled vehicles for crash tests in a column-free, roofed-over space measuring 90 x 90m (295 x 295ft). The evasive and braking maneuvers initiated by driver assistance systems in the pre-crash phase can therefore be incorporated into tests using both dummies and, for the first time, vehicles that are moved through the facility. Driver assistance systems can thus be pushed to their limits in a targeted and controlled environment. Important areas of research, including how effective assistance systems are, and how the vehicle body and passengers move both before

and how the vehicle body and passengers move both before PRODUCTS AND SERVICES “Linear bus systems

PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

“Linear bus systems for distributing switching and trigger signals, such as those currently used to control many modern crash test facilities, have reached their limits”

and after the actual accident, can now be studied with greater precision. The TFS center will carry out up to 900 component and system tests and 1,700 sled tests per year. Creating this unique infrastructure required

a huge amount of development. The TFS center has several crash areas, four of which can be independently operated and controlled at the same time, if necessary. Around 70 different crash test configurations are possible for cars and trucks. Linear bus systems for distributing switching and

trigger signals, such as those currently used to control many modern crash test facilities, have reached their limits, so a new solution had to be developed to enable facility control. Messring delivered the facility promptly and, for the first time, developed

a digital high-frequency

communication infrastructure in the form of M=Sync, which sends data packs to the most remote locations of the enormous, highly complex facility, quickly and without disruption. The linear bus system has been replaced by a virtually infinitely expandable network with trigger boxes, which are connected to each other using several kilometers

of fiber-optic cable. Via the global system, all devices receive an identical trigger signal as well as their individual switching rates. Messring also programmed its own communication protocols for 24 different scenarios for configuring the

protocols for 24 different scenarios for configuring the M=Sync was created by specialists with expertise in

M=Sync was created by specialists with expertise in electrical, mechatronics and software development

entire facility. These can be accessed at the press of a button and ensure that individual crash areas can also be isolated and used individually without losing time, which is essential to ensuring efficient facility operation. Five initial prototypes were made in a pilot phase. In total it took more than 6,700 hours to turn the initial idea into a finished product.

Messring was also able to draw on its strengths when developing the world’s first unconditionally movable crash block. The task set out by Mercedes-Benz was to develop a self-driving block that, despite its weight of 110 metric tons, would enable unrestricted, safe and relatively uncomplicated navigation within the crash hall, with no cable bundles to get in the way or specific routes to follow. Messring therefore put together an interdisciplinary development team that, from the ground up, planned the concept of the movable block using existing Messring products. The giant block is

equipped with totally revised hydraulic traveling gear, a new rechargeable battery system, and sensor technology. The system for anchoring and locking the block on the floor was also revised. A laser- controlled navigation system was also integrated for better navigation in the hall. The self-driving block can be moved to any location within the hall in just a few minutes. Around 20 specialists with expertise in construction, automation, programming and laser technology worked on the project. The four impact sides are preconfigured with different barriers and various test scenarios can be prepared for simply by turning the block. Innovations such as M=Sync and the self-driving movable block greatly expand the capabilities of crash test facilities and boost efficiency so that more crash tests are possible in shorter reconfiguration times. Arp believes that is just the beginning: “We expect the demands placed on crash test facilities to continue increasing, particularly in terms of diversity and realistic simulation of traffic situations.” Messring therefore knows that it is important to continuously develop as a company. With clearly defined project management, the right interdisciplinary teams, and professional process and quality management in place, Arp hopes that the company will be able to speed up the results process, better understand customers’ needs and fulfill the company’s own quality standards.

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