The small overlap crash test is one of the major challenges in a test programme to evaluate the structural strength of vehicles. One of the main assessment criteria is the intrusion of tyres, body and chassis parts into the passenger cabin, and crash test technology supplier, Messring, has developed the M=Sled Small Overlap, a system designed to test critical chassis components that could penetrate the passenger compartment without destroying an entire car body.
The ability to examine the crash behaviour of the chassis individually can provide important information regarding any further R&D required in the development process and prevent expensive errors in development programmes.
The test sled has been designed for use with the Messring HydroBrake and can realistically simulate the small overlap test scenario on the left side of the vehicle. The chassis under test is rolled freely along the ground at up to 64km/h against a load cell wall, which is held in the contour of the small overlap barrier and then decelerated in a controlled process up to the breaking point. Thanks to the additional load cell wall, which is modelled in the shape of a wheel housing and runs on the sled, the resulting forces and deflection of the components in the wheel housing are measured efficiently.
“These measurement results, in combination with the high-speed recordings of the crash test, provide valuable information on how a chassis behaves in a small overlap test,” explained Wolfgang Rohleder, sales manager at Messring GmbH. “When, and in which order, the individual components of the chassis break under critical load has a great influence on the direction of the deflection, and thus on the potential for intrusion into the passenger compartment. With the M=Sled Small Overlap we can help vehicle developers to make cars safer and protect road users”.
The sled can be adapted to different chassis mounts, and the precise and reproducible braking pulses of the HydroBrake mean that different vehicle loads can be simulated, so the testing of various vehicle classes and types is possible.