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The car's the star

Spotlight

Testconsult has used live car tests to confirm the validity of a recent analysis of crash barrier behaviour.

The specialist testing services company had been commissioned to undertake a theoretical analysis of car park edge barriers to confirm compliance with BS 6399. The theoretical analysis included the use of finite element modelling to predict the forces and displacement in the barrier system as a result of vehicle impact.

It was a complex process, says Testconsult director Simon French, as the barrier is made up of hinges, springs and deformable components.

Final output of the modelling was a load versus deflection graph with additional analytical information on peak forces and the dissipation of the impact energy.

A full scale test was then undertaken at MIRA's automotive testing facility. This involved setting up the standard barrier system and surrounding it with high-speed cameras.

A Ford Mondeo saloon was driven into the barrier while the cameras captured the impact. Displacement of each component could then be accurately measured for comparison with the finite element model.

www. testconsult. co. uk

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