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Collision Dynamics

A GUIDE IN UNDERSTANDING THE FORCES OF A COLLISION

Collision Dynamics
Is the knowledge and
understanding of the
forces involved in a
collision

Collision
Dynamics

Collision Dynamics
Visual Inspection
Measuring
Analyzing
Repair Planning
Documentation

OEM Procedures

Training

Not Just Knowledge


But Know How

May or may not have visual


indicators!

Collision

Inertia

Load
Pathing

The Purpose of Crash Testing

Front End Impacts

Side Impacts

Rear Collisions

Side Collision

Pedestrian

These arent your fathers cars


anymore

1959 Bel Air at a 40 MPH/ 64 KM


offset Impact

Is that my
Knee?!

Ah! I spilled
my drink!

2009 Chevy Malibu 40MPH/ 60KM


offset impact

The advanced technology engineered into vehicles


today has changed the way vehicles react in a collision and,
consequently, the way they are looked at for repairs.

Load Pathing
Engineering

how the collisions are directed


thru structure
Collision Dynamics:
Front
Rear
Side
Rollover

Collision ForcesWhat creates a collision


Internal

Forces within the vehicle

Force from another object


or vehicle.
A collision consists of two or
more objects impacting each
other causing a change in
motion. Both moving or One
moving and one stationary -

Collision ForcesWhat creates a collision


Internal

Forces within the vehicle

Force from another object


or vehicle.
A collision consists of two or
more objects impacting each
other causing a change in
motion. Both moving or One
moving and one stationary -

Understanding Inertia
Inertia is the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or of
a body in motion to remain in motion

A change in motion presents itself as a force.


Moving Force
Resisting Force

The more sudden the change, the stronger the forces created
during the change
Size and Weight (Mass) has a tremendous influence on
the effects of Inertia and the amount of force it
generates.

Types of Forces

External Forces

Internal Forces

Types of Forces

The Internal Force is now trying to resist movement against the vehicle crashing into it.

Structural Misalignment
(Deflection)
To better understand deflection of
collision forces we first study simple
uniform collisions. This rail was
damaged in a controlled environment
causing the rail to collapse like an
accordion

To repair this uniform structure, one


end must be held while pulling the
other end straight out, reversing the
forces which caused the damage.

Simple, Uniform collisions dont occur


Vehicles do not have a uniform structure and
rarely, if ever, impact another object in a perfect
straight line.
In reality, most collisions occur at some angle and involve
deflection of forces, resulting in complex damage.

What factors
affects
Structural
Misalignment?

Two Factors
Two majors
factors in
Structural
Misalignment

1
Vertical
Misalignment
Structural Design of the
vehicle is responsible for
most vertical (up and
down) misalignment.
This is a major factor in
the three section
principle

The lower structure "steps" up and over the suspension at the ends of
the vehicle.

This creates a situation in which the structural members in the


suspension area deflect vertically when collapsing - especially from a
front or rear collision.

Misalignment from Structural


Design
It is essential to understand
the metal structure of todays
vehicles in order to achieve a
complete understanding of
vehicle reactions to impact in a
collision.

Direction of
travel
The direction of travel is
responsible for most
lateral (sideways)
misalignment. Most
people would turn the
steering wheel to avoid
the collision if possible.

MISALIGNMENT FROM
THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL

Passenger compartments do not react the way they typically did in recent years.

So What Has Changed?


Deflection

of forces around the passenger


compartment may change where the energy
is directed.
AHSS steel placement in critical areas
Slowing the collision forces thru design
Crash Pulse
Load pathing

Load Pathing
Engineering

how the collisions are directed


thru structure
Collision Dynamics:
Front
Rear
Side
Rollover

Collision forces entering the vehicle encounter better energy absorption


and force management due to the use of AHSS.

Engineers, through design, are able to direct forces in specific paths


through the structure. Less damage makes its way into the center
section, but damage will still occur and closer examination will be
required to locate that alternative damage.

Advanced steels found in the windshield pillar design and other areas of the
center section absorb and transfer energy around the passenger compartment
leaving it intact with very little or no distortion.

While energy is being transferred it is also being absorbed. This is evident in


the characteristic rippling and buckles in the pillar.

It is important to recognize that patterns of damage that may have been


characteristic in the past will not necessarily repeat in newer designs.

The vehicle's direction of travel and any variation in its angle from a straightahead position during the collision will be responsible for most of the lateral
misalignment.

Impact Area

If the position of the vehicle is not straight ahead, in relation to its direction
of travel during the collision, lateral misalignment will result.

Advanced steels located in


the center section help
control the amount of
intrusion in that area and
redirect the energy around
the occupants.

The center section is basically a


straight, flat, rigid area reinforced
by the rocker panels and inner
reinforcements

This combination is
very strong and
resists
misalignment

For this reason, as


collision forces begin to
misalign the structure,
the end sections (front
and rear) tend to
misalign relative to the
center section.

Each section reacts independently


The heavier the section, the stronger the inertial effect will become.

Three Section Principle


Do

all vehicles have three sections?

Manufacturers are producing smaller more compact vehicles, but do


these types of vehicles still react as three distinct sections?

There is still an area that steps upward in the suspension area,


both at the front and rear, creating three sections, but those
sections are much smaller in relation to the center section.

Even with the smaller end sections we still have forces reacting but
because of the size of the sections the misalignment from each section
will not have the same amount of force as if the section was larger.

How misalignment is
Categorized

1
2

Direct Misalignment
Damage at the point
of impact

Indirect
Misalignment
Damage beyond
the point of
impact

Direct Damage

Indirect Damage due to Energy


Transfer

Understanding the difference between the two types of


damage is important from a repair standpoint.

If the repair is approached properly, the direct misalignment will be repaired by


pulling directly at the points of impact. Much of the indirect misalignment can
be corrected simultaneously by holding and supporting the vehicle at the
proper points.

5 Milliseconds
At 5 Milliseconds the body structure is
already absorbing and managing the
crash force energy

5 Milliseconds
At 5 milliseconds air bag
sensors detect loads
and rates that require
activation. Seatbelt pretensioners activate for
sensor input

10 Milliseconds
At

10 milliseconds the bumper is fully


collapsed and crash forces are being
directed through the upper and lower body
members

15 Milliseconds
The engine sub/frame begins to deform

20 Milliseconds
The

structure forward of the engine is


fully deformed and the crash load is
transmitted into the roof rail, rocker and
rear portion of the engine subrame

20 Milliseconds
The

main front crash rails begin to deform


often using crush initiators to trigger an
accordian-like deformation

30 Milliseconds
At

predetermined points the upper and


lower frame rails continue to deform
absorbing and redirecting crash loads

30 Milliseconds
Occupants

are launched forward. The load


from their movement is transferred to seat
and seatbelt mounting points.

50 Milliseconds

The

engine/transaxle assembly contact


dash and the wheel contacts the barrier.
The A-pillar, roof, door pillar, rocker and
floorpan carry balance of the crash load

67-99 Milliseconds
Maximum deformation of the vehicle is
achieved
The crash load has transferred around and
under the occupants
The passenger compartment deformation
controlled and penetration is limited.

100 Milliseconds & Returned to


Pre Accident Condition
Event

is complete

Collision Types

FRONT END COLLISIONS

When a vehicle collides with an another object a change in motion occurs. The contact
point will begin to stop while the rest of the vehicle continues in motion.

FRONT END COLLISIONS

As the impact point comes to a stop, the rest of the vehicle continues and the front section of
the vehicle becomes shorter in length. At this point vertical misalignment above the wheel
occurs due to the structural design in the suspension area.

FRONT END COLLISIONS

Energy continues to be absorbed in the front, and the rest of the vehicle continues to move
forward. As the A-Pillar comes to a stop, energy is distributed through the pillar and,
likewise, into the floor to rocker area within the center section.

FRONT END COLLISIONS

Without advanced steels the center section is subject to collapse and distortion,
possibly causing injury to the occupant.

REAR END COLLISIONS


Rear end collisions are the second most common type of collision.

REAR END COLLISIONS

At the point of the impact, the vehicle being hit in the rear will present
a resisting force to the forward force applied by the outside object

Upon impact, the end of the rail will begin to move down in relation to the
suspension areas upward travel, as the rear section begins to shorten.

In the past, rear end collision damage could easily extend the length of the vehicle
to include collapse of and intrusion into the passenger compartment.

Note: All rear impact testing is currently done at 30 MPG (48KPH) but
authorities are considering a change to increase it to 60MPG (96 KMP)

SIDE IMPACT COLLISIONS

While not the most common of collisions, the Side Impact


Collision is one of the most dangerous due to point of
impact being directly into the passenger compartment. This
type of impact is more likely to produce injuries or fatalities
due to the fact that there is very little separation between
the passengers and the devastating external forces
encountered.

SIDE IMPACT COLLISIONS

During the side impact the outside force moves the center section
laterally with respect to the end sections which resist movement.

A center section employing advanced Steels allows for energy


absorption and distribution of the forces with very little distortion.
Impact force will travel through the upper portion of the center section

That front section of the vehicle carries the majority of the weight of
the vehicle, particularly on front wheel drive models. The engine is
mounted in rubber mounts and can move independently. Close
examination of the engine compartment for damage and distortion is
essential.

The effects of inertia on the end sections and the resistance of the tires
against the road to sideways movement will affect the amount of
lateral misalignment of the end sections.

Banana Effect. The end sections


move toward the impacted side of the
vehicle, in respect to the center
section, leaving much wider gaps on
the opposite side.

With the use of advanced steels there is less intrusion into the passenger
compartment which results in fewer injuries and fatalities.

Work hardening of the advanced steels used in the pillars and door
beams increases energy absorption and greatly reduces intrusion into
the passenger compartment.

Advanced steels and design combine to efficiently direct collision forces


around the occupants for better survivability.

Side Curtain Airbags


The advent of side curtain airbags has had a dramatic affect.

ROLLOVER COLLISIONS
When a vehicle overturns or rolls over it creates
what is considered to be multiple collisions.
Each time the vehicle impacts an object (or the
ground) a separate collision has occurred and each
collision must be addressed independently from a
planning and repair standpoint.

Rollovers are probably the least common type of collision. In terms of


severity or injury/fatality rates rollover is among the highest.

Implemented by the
Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety (IIHS),
NATEF standards have
increased from 1.5 times
the vehicle weight to 2.5
times the vehicle weight
for Roof Crush Testing.

During a rollover the vehicle will generally impact one of the front
windshield corners causing the roof and windshield area to
collapse into the passenger compartment.

As the roof comes to a stop at impact, the rest of the vehicle continues to
move downward this and generally results in massive upper body damage
and serious injury to passengers.

Advanced Rollover
Prevention

Advancements in material and design are allowing increased roof crush test
standards to be met, reducing intrusion and increasing survivability.

Roof rails are now being reinforced with advanced steel inner
structure that will withstand the collision forces and disburse
the energy to areas outside of the passenger compartment.

Conclusion
Many of the vehicles being manufactured for 2010
and beyond will be designed and manufactured to
meet or exceed the recommended safety test
standards.

This will present a problem for the repair industry


until estimators, appraisers and technicians learn
to locate and implement the OEMs requirements
and procedures to ensure proper and complete
repair of each specific vehicle make and model.