Shock Absorbers Decelerate Accelerating Sleds in a Vehicle Crash Simulator

To educate the public about automobile accidents, a police department in the Middle Hesse region of Germany uses a specially designed accident simulator. The police chief wanted to analyze and demonstrate accidents involving vehicle passengers who don’t wear seatbelts. Because there’s a much higher risk of injury to passengers who don’t wear seatbelts versus those who do, the simulator shows how forces act on vehicle occupants and can damage vehicles in low-speed accidents of 3.1, 6.2 and 9.3 miles per hour. The belt simulator is compact and designed to be taken apart easily so it can be used as a mobile unit for demonstrations at schools.

How MAGNUM Shock Absorbers Slow the Sled

The simulator consists of a carriage holding a passenger seat that runs along a 20-foot track. After 6.5 feet, the drive disengages and the mass continues to the end position at a set speed. An ACE Controls MAGNUM industrial shock absorber ensures the accelerating masses — which can range from 4,340 to 17,360 in-lbs — come to a controlled stop. With a dead weight of just over 11 pounds, the shock absorber is suitable for an effective mass of up to 176,370 pounds. With a simple adjustment, it can also handle masses from 727 to 2,204 pounds.

MAGNUM MA/ML shock absorbers are ideal for applications like this one, which involves changing forces. The product family supports a wide range of effective load capacities from 661 to 1,102,311 pounds, which opens up many design and assembly options. These dampers absorb 50 percent more energy than their predecessors but come in smaller sizes. The MA64150 shock absorber chosen for this application has an energy capacity of 60,000 in-lbs per cycle and has an effective weight of 730 pounds. In addition, its impact velocity ranges from 0.5 to 16.5 feet per second, and it has a stroke of 5.91 inches.

Additional features and specifications include:

  • Integrated front and rear adjustment rings.
  • Extended service life, thanks to diaphragm accumulators, long-life seals and hardened inner pressure chambers.
  • Operating temperature range of 10° to 150°F.

Stop Moving Loads Evenly and Safely

Because the crash simulator must absorb heavy, accelerating loads and tolerate frequent use, not just any shock absorber will do. Our MAGNUM shock absorbers handle a wide range of effective loads and can withstand high energy forces to stop moving loads evenly and safely. With these attributes, the simulator designers’ choice of a MAGNUM shock absorber was no accident.

For more information about our MAGNUM MA64150 industrial shock absorber, visit our product page.