Our work on impact research has made significant contributions to manufacturer's adoption of integrated safety designs in passenger vehicles. Our protection research has examined a wide range to safety related issues including, for example, roadside conditions, friction effects on occupants, fuel tank design, door latch performance, and rollover collisions.
Roadside Protection Research
Aging roadside barriers can present considerable hazard to roadside collisions. We have evaluated effects of aging infrastructure on impact protection by examining the effects of concrete deteriorations, soil characteristics, and alternate concrete compositions on the protection performance of roadside barriers.
Our work on impact research has made significant contributions to manufacturers adoption of integrated safety designs in passenger vehicles. We have studied side impact, side pole impact, offset impact, animal impact, school bus crash re-search
We have examined the effects of friction conditions on occupant restra-int performance and particularly of the friction characteristics of dummy skin compared to the human head and skin characteristics. These studies have improved the understanding of how friction in a dummy affects the ability to model the kinds of injuries that occur in humans. For example, because dummy skin is sticky, the dummy gets caught on airbags thus changing test conditions and decreas-ing relevance to human performance.
Fuel Tank Research
Partnered with industry, FRC has protected fuel tanks by developing advanced frame and tank design techniques. These designs have demonstrated protection of fuel tanks in collisions with fixed object impacts of up to 60mph and vehicle to vehicle impacts of up to 70mph.
Door Latch Research
Testing techniques for door latches was developed many years ago and, in general, not taking into account 3d loading characteristics that occur under real world conditions. Our research has shown the effects of considering 3d loads in latch perform-ance and latch failure in correspond-ence with latch design methodologies. Research has shown test protocols that can be used to evaluate latch performance are much more effective than current unidirectional loading approaches. These can be used both for evaluation of latch as well as door handle release mechanisms.
For a wide variety of vehicle types ranging from small passenger vehicles to heavy trucks and buses we have advanced techniques for evaluation of rollover occupant protection. We have demonstrated the utility of advanced occupant restraint systems and vehicle structural components under rollover conditions.