Evaluations of pretensioner activation in rear impacts

Occupant kinematics and biomechanical responses are assessed with and without pretensioning of normally seated and out-of-position front-seat occupants in rear sled tests. The results are compared to recent studies. Three series of rear sled tests were conducted at 24 and 40 km/h with a 2001 Ford Taurus. Series I consisted of two sled tests with a lap-shoulder belted 50th Hybrid III in the driver seat. Series II included four sled tests with a lap-shoulder belted 50th Hybrid III in both front seats. Two soft foam blocks were added, one was placed on the chest centerline under the shoulder belt and one on the pelvis under the lap belt providing additional webbing. Series III consisted of 8 runs and 16 ATD tests to assess the effect of pretensioning with out-of-positioned (OOP) occupants. The biomechanical responses were normalized with Injury Assessment Reference Values (IARV) for head, neck and chest. The ATD kinematics and biomechanical responses were similar in the yielding phase when the occupant was normally seated with and without pretensioning. The rebound displacement was greater with pretensioning in the 40 km/h tests due to the shoulder belt slipping off the shoulder. The hip displacement was similar, irrespective of pretensioning. All biomechanical responses were below IARVs. The highest response was for lower neck extension. The normalized response was at about 32% for the 24 km/h tests, irrespective of pretensioning. It was up to 59% in the 40 km/h tests with pretensioning. With the OOP occupants, there were no differences in the kinematics and biomechanical response with pretensioning. Testing of the effect of retractor pretensioning with out-of-position occupants and additional belt webbing in moderate to high-speed rear sled tests shows no effect on occupant kinematics and biomechanical responses. The displacement of the hips in a rear impact depends on the compliance of the seatback and amount of pocketing, the stiffness of the seat frame limiting rearward rotation, and the dynamic friction between the occupant and the seatback.


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  • Accession Number: 01783339
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 28 2021 11:30AM