Novel Crash Sled with a Translating Support Mass

R. T. Haluza, C. R. Ruggeri, J. M. Pereira, S. G. Miller, C. E. Bakis, K. L. Koudela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A novel crash sled has been developed with a translating support incorporating transducers that allow multiple methods of measuring energy absorption to fully characterize the dynamic crush response of composite components. Objective: The main goal of the current investigation was to demonstrate functionality, repeatability, and accuracy of crush testing using a crash sled with a translating support mass. Methods: A semi-automated algorithm for data reduction was developed based on impact mechanics principles. A preliminary set of tests was initially conducted using aluminum honeycomb specimens with a specified stable crushing force to quantify the accuracy and repeatability of the crush data. Following the success of these tests, triaxially-braided fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) specimens were evaluated. Results: Crush tests with the aluminum honeycomb specimens showed excellent outcomes for all three specimens. These data provided close agreement with cumulative energy absorption between individual instruments and stable crushing forces at expected values. For the FRP specimens, specific energy absorption (SEA) and force-displacement curves were successfully measured; however, data from the translating support mass accelerometer were excluded from the dataset due to clipping. The SEA of the corrugated specimens was greater than the SEA for the C-channel specimens at both test speeds. Conclusions: The crash sled functionality was verified, the specimen geometry was found to contribute more to SEA than the impact speed in the speed range tested, and the support mass accelerometer will be upgraded to prevent clipping in future tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-728
Number of pages14
JournalExperimental Mechanics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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