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Reliable Calibration of Load Cells for Crash Test Dummies

Globally increasing requirements for vehicle safety require continuously improved vehicle solutions for protecting passengers, which can only be developed and validated by reliable crash tests on dummies. ZwickRoell offers a modular system for the reliable calibration of load cells in crash test dummies.

Aside from a realistic dummy design, the measurement sensor technology used, such as acceleration and rotation rate sensors, load cells and torque transducers, as well as thorax and abdomen displacement measurement along with the corresponding data acquisition, play an important role.

A typical ATD (Anthropomorphic Test Dummy) uses multiple load cells that differ greatly in regard to function, location, and loading direction. Special load cells that record between one and six force/torque axes depending on the application area are used for the head-neck, thorax, abdomen, and leg regions. In order to guarantee reliable test results, it is necessary to check and calibrate the sensors regularly, typically every 6 – 24 months.

Calibration of complex load cells and torque transducers is particularly cumbersome and must be performed with suitable calibration devices and measuring equipment.

ZwickRoell offers special testing machines for these sophisticated calibration tasks that enable a wide range of load cell models to be calibrated efficiently and reliably. In addition to the high reproducibility of the calibration stages, the system allows the integration of additional technology, such as code identification, video documentation of the calibration procedure and tamper-proof saving of calibration data.

Even for complex, six-axis load cells for the neck region, the calibration procedure can be improved by using a flexible robot that reduces or excludes any error-prone human influences to handle the sensor in the calibration process.