VEHICLE TESTING SOLUTIONS FOR FORD AND PROFOR-WEGNER
Following the request from Ford and Profor-Wegner to design a new passenger dummy for vehicle testing, Indupol proposed a composite solution that provides great ergonomics and ensures test driver safety. The material solution was developed in close collaboration with AOC Aliancys and Euroresins, and incorporates Atlac® 580 resin from AOC Aliancys.
INSIGHT IN CAR PERFORMANCE
In order to validate all the attributes of vehicles in development, Automotive OEMs are continuously testing their vehicles in real-life situations. For this purpose, realistic driving conditions are created by simulating multiple passenger combinations in the vehicles undergoing the test.
Sophisticated sensors and measurement devices are installed in the car to monitor car operation during the test drive. Ultimately, this provides good insight into the performance of the electrical and HVAC systems, the quality of the entire assembly, and potential changes affecting driver and passenger well-being.
In order to best simulate the impact of having passengers of various sizes in the car, passenger dummies are being used with different weights. Previously, these dummies were filled with water, requiring dedicated filling stations and having the risk of water spills inside the car. Because of the water handling and the bulky structures, test drivers were having to spend a lot of time installing the dummy correctly.
In the mid-80s Ford started to develop passenger dummies that could be loaded without water. The design of the dummy was gradually improved to meet increased requirements related to ergonomics, noise, flexibility, etc.
Through its partner Profor-Wegner GmbH, Ford approached Indupol to bring this passenger dummy solution to a higher level taking full benefit of its testing experience gathered over the years. The objective was to create a more professional dummy design and use state-of-the-art materials.
Key requirements for the dummy included low weight for easy handling, limited size so it also fits in smaller cars, having the functionality of adjusting passenger weight by easily putting lead elements inside the dummy, and the ability to simply attach the dummy to the safety belts inside the car. In addition, the dummies should not produce squeaking or rattling sounds, and above all, create a safe testing environment for the test driver or test engineer.