MercedesBenz marks 50 years since crash testing first car |…

24 Май 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

Mercedes-Benz marks 50 years crash testing first car

vehiclle sold in the United and in Europe undergoes crash

But that wasn’t the case Mercedes-Benz conducted its first test on Sept. 10, 1959 a test car was accelerated head-on a stationary obstacle.

Safety at the brand suddenly entered a new for now the behaviour of vehicles and occupants in car could be investigated in realistic using test cars and test dummies. In the decades followed, Mercedes-Benz continued to set new in a line of research that throughout the industry and thus lasting improvements in vehicle for the benefit of all road users.

to begin with crash remained on a relatively small from the 1960s onwards the became increasingly established as a instrument for optimising and testing safety. And at Mercedes-Benz thorough testing was applied not only to cars, but also to vans, vehicles and even coaches.

A expense — Crash testing has one of the instruments of safety

research at Benz since 1959.

testing at Mercedes-Benz has always the number and severity of the tests by law. In the case of the E-Class the 212 series, for example, the program developed the saloon to production involved over 150 crash and over 17,000 realistic test simulations. These a number of particularly severe tests conducted specifically by the above and beyond the 40 or so different collision configurations required for the and worldwide authorisation of a vehicle. the first crash tests in were characterised by these high aspirations towards development work.

Historic for accident research — the head-on of a vehicle

from the W 111 series the start of crash testing on 10, 1959.

Mercedes-Benz began a more rigorous approach to crash worthiness over 20 before the first crash But although Mercedes-Benz engineers out the first tests on vehicles as far as the 1930s, these were not for the of research into passive They served in fact to the unwelcome effects of oscillating

1939 was a key year in the history of at the Stuttgart brand, for this was the Daimler-Benz AG signed up the engineer Barényi. His developments were to definitive in terms of passive for the modern passenger car. inventions were described in 2,500 patents and included the body with rigid cell and front and rear zones (premiered in 1959 in the W 111 and the safety steering wheel, made its debut in 1976 in the 123

Safety expert Béla


pictured with

after a crash test on the


in Sindelfingen.

Barényi and his developed the safety body to standard in the 1950s, the crumple of which were designed to the kinetic energy of a crash by deformation. The prevailing view at time was still that the of occupant safety were served by maximum rigidity of the However, the new crash tests in 1959 showed that bodies such as these good at withstanding impacts, of the kinetic energy released was to the vehicle occupants and often led to injuries. Crumple zones, on the hand, significantly reduced the of energy transmitted to the occupants in the of an accident.

During the 1950s the engineers watched closely to see how testing established itself as a new of research and development in the United Visits to American universities and car provided the experts from with inspiration and ideas for own component testing and crash

One such visit was made by Wilfert, Rudolf Uhlenhaut and Nallinger to Ford’s crash facility in Dearborn in 1955. The men Stuttgart were surprised to that Ford was already accident research for aggressive purposes at that time. would soon influence the way dealt with the sensitive of vehicle safety.

The new W 111 series was the to benefit from preliminary safety tests conducted by the Although there were as yet no tests in the precise sense of the the company’s own researchers had already testing individual vehicle for their behaviour in accidents 1956 and 1957. The inception of tests represented a major in the safety research of the Stuttgart For until then the only concerning passive vehicle had come from expert of crash vehicles.

The development of the safety belt in the 1950s also called for a testing procedure for this new system in vehicles. The solution in 1959 was the test sled, suspended so that it could be with acceleration against a object. This initial subsequently gave rise to the test sled on rails, was accelerated using steel

The rail-guided rocket

accelerated vehicles

to the required speed

1962 onwards. Once

the test car rolled towards the


The ‘guinea pig’ was a dummy acquired in the United This early test also used in crash was given the name Oskar by its As a mute pioneer of safety at Mercedes-Benz, Oskar went on to future generations of dummies. the climate dummy, developed in to test for specific perception of temperatures, was named Dr. Oscar.

As as the safety belt, the accident was also used to test the steering wheel impact and other such components. By the mid the first-generation sleds had given way to a new of impact vehicle, to which a passenger car body could be for load testing if required.

The of all developments of the Mercedes-Benz accident in the late 1950s was to simulate a as comprehensively as possible. Consequently was no way round the crash test – was time-consuming, difficult to control and This test procedure subjecting a vehicle to a controlled that resulted in corresponding The roles of the vehicle occupants played by the crash test

At the first Mercedes-Benz crash in 1959 a test car was accelerated into a fixed barrier of old press dies otherwise for the scrapheap. After this the engineers paused for a while in to evaluate the new procedure. Then testing was conducted again on further test days March and April 1960. included the simulation of complete – for example, the side-impact collision a vehicle from the W 111 series and a of the same series. Once head-on collisions were out and for the first time roll-over

Pioneering tests with cars made possible the of a ramp that rotated the cars about their in mid-air so that they on their roof. This the safety experts were to measure the reaction of the body in the of a roll-over accident.

Mercedes-Benz testing from 1959 led not only to advances in vehicle The technology used for these crash tests was also improved. To begin with, for a winch was used to accelerate the since this could not be under the power of their own The engineers borrowed winching used by the glider pilots at the University to launch their At Mercedes-Benz, however, the tow was used to brand-new saloons so that they took off from the corkscrew ramp at speeds of 75 to 80 they rolled over in the

However, the winch system less than ideal for the test cars. And the head-on also left much to be as on occasions the test vehicles the barrier or stationary car altogether, in a rescue call-out to the plant service. For in those days was conducted in the open air on premises to the Sindelfingen plant. The area was by a stream named the Schwippe — the resting place for more one vehicle during these years.

In the ’60s this hot rocket accelerated test to the required

speed for crash During this test the hot

rocket failed to brake in resulting in an unintentional rear

to the test car – in addition to the intended crash.

A test car and a hot water rocket ended

up in the stream beside the track.

In 1962 Ernst came to the rescue. For the crash conducted by Karl Wilfert and his Fiala designed a hot-water that powers the vehicles the use of a tow line. Fiala received advice for his design from the for the Physics of Jet Propulsion based at Airport. Mounted on a single-axle the apparatus was attached to the rear of the vehicle and consisted of a pressure a fast-opening valve and a discharge To create thrust, the tank was filled with water to the experiment and heated until the temperature reached around 260 Celsius. When the valve was this excess pressure the car and rocket ensemble to speeds in of 100 km/h.

The introduction of the hot water in 1962 also led to improvements in the track. Reinforced concrete was for the runway, and the test vehicles and system were now guided on A fence was also erected to cars landing in the stream. clear improvements to the test were not only important for testing. From 1962 to Mercedes-Benz also carried out on new types of crash barriers on of the State of Baden-Württemberg. In addition, in the test strip was lengthened 65 metres to 90 metres in order heavier passenger cars as the 600 from the W 100 series could be subjected to crash testing.

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

The use of dummies ensured very conclusive results, since the equipped with capsules for acceleration values – which had in use in the United States since – for the first time produced data relating to the stresses to the human body was subjected in a car

Off to work — A crash test prior to testing.

Preparations for use — test dummies at Mercedes

Oskar, the VIP-type dummy by manufacturer Alderson Research, remained the only test used for early crash in Sindelfingen. Front seat were simulated more than not using sandbags or mannequins. Even when more advanced test were acquired later (in eight units were in use Oskar continued to provide service – indeed this ever test dummy on to serve the Stuttgart brand’s research department for three

The increasing number of crash and the increased importance attached to the of these tests revealed the capacity limitations and suitability of the old track in Sindelfingen by the late So a new accident research centre was in Sindelfingen between 1971 and Initially the safety researcher a Bendix sled for crash purposes. Then in 1972 work began on a new crash that would also head-on and side-impact collisions.

All up —

Test dummies are

positioned in the

of a Maybach

As a drive system to the test vehicle along the test track the engineers for a linear motor with a of 53,000 Newtons. This unit accelerated the cars to the speed over the first of the track, then regulated the over the remaining distance to the value before decoupling in of the collision. In one direction of the track the cars crashed into a barrier resting on a sensitive plate. Roll-over tests conducted in the opposite direction. involving other vehicles, on the hand, were still on an open-air site.

From the one goal of Mercedes-Benz crash was to produce results that as realistic as possible. Increasingly, the head-on collision into a barrier made of old iron or was replaced with an offset Research into offset began in 1975.

In 1992 offset front impact was for the first time at Mercedes-Benz a deformable barrier in order to results that were more comparable with the of a vehicle in a real collision. A barrier was subsequently developed for car testing, the design of which had a influence on test results the Sindelfingen safety centre. the introduction of offset barrier this new European test represented a further major in the direction of realistic accident In 1993, the offset crash a deformable metal barrier a honeycomb structure at 60 km/h and a 50 percent overlap became the new standard.


of its vehicles

with a

test staged at

the 1997

Motor Show.

When the Technology Center (MTC) was in 1998 (the foundation was laid in 1995), the crash facilities at Sindelfingen also modernisation. The acceleration strip was now to 95 metres, which meant all types of crash tests now take place indoors.

In of the comprehensive research and test at Mercedes-Benz, the decision was taken after the year 2000 to the MTC in Sindelfingen once again.

was broken in 2007 for the expansion of the center. This expansion the installation of new large-scale test such as climate tunnel and simulators. These are scheduled to on-stream in 2010.

In 2009 presented the pioneering PRE-SAFE® at the 21st ESV Conference. This simulator was the first such to use a linear motor to accelerate the cabins to speeds of up to 16 km/h a space of four metres to collision. The drive was pre-programmable and worked in the opposite direction. made it possible to demonstrate acceleration profiles as well as collisions. In this way the testers in the experienced in real-time the effect of functions such as seat tensioning, NECK-PRO and inflatable bolsters in the seats.

With simulator Mercedes-Benz engineers also used analysis of the pre-crash phase to improve situations. The ESF 2009 experimental presented in 2009, comes in a tradition of safety research at

Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009
Mercedes-Benz ESF 2009

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