Testing of "Oka" cars produced by "SeAZ" Motor-car Factory
"Oka" crash test is an experiment in which all the participans without any exception are enriched by emotions. It is pity to send the ‘baby’ to be killed... The testing area workers are worried – this time not for "Oka", but for the dummy`s ‘health’. There is nothing good to wait from the small car strike over the barrier from 64 km/h speed, even though the barrier is deformable. There are only three meters from the car nose to its back, narrow compartment with huge doorways, no safety bars in thin doors... "Capsule of death"? Well, let’s try...
The tests were lead and analized by the independent experts – "Autoreview" newspaper
|Crash test analysis|
So, VAZ-11113 with two dummies and registering equipment with total mass of 820 kg came to a standstill on a start position. Then it started moving and went to its last travel, accelerating to necessary speed of 64 km/h.
Crash! The red car crashed to the barrier, jumped up and stopped motionless being dropped to the protection ropes. One second silence... And suddenly a continuous shrill signal sounded over the test area hangar –the horn contacts were connected in the hub of the steering wheel after the head deformation...
What was in the cry?
Was it pain? Sure, it is painful: the body is broken along the windshield pole, the roof is folded, the driver’s door is bended blankly. The broken door window frame protrudes sideward. The left turning light is bended down, the driver’s seat moved to the left together with the floor...
Pity? Surely, it’s pity – it was so young, even it has not passed running in. And it will be discarded with the merciless formulation as "Not a repair subject"...
When in a monute of continuous sound it became clear that the battery would feed the connected signal even though the electrolyte poured down, somebody opened the bonnet and dropped the connection terminal away. The cry was stopped. However, some kind of a dismal sensation reminded that we have just been present at a living creature agony.
Do you think that a car does not have any soul after that?
But let’s take the sentimentality away. So, how much is the disaster volume?
Crash test analysis
A fateful role was played by the spare wheel that excluded more than half of the front part (that is anyway short) from the energy absorbing process. Thet is why the main force of the strike was to the compartment reinforcement cage that is, unfortunately, could not bear the strike load. The windshield bar, the front panel and the steering column are moved backward to 170 mm. The apron was broken and subsided down, the roof was folded. And the door, alas, almost did not help the body to resist to the deformation.
The front edge was flared – that was despondently noted by the Sepukhov factory representatives.
The outer panel was falled off from its support, that is why the door was folded. Nevertheless, the welding seemed to be of high quality.
In fact, the weld seams beared the crash – the only crack appeared in the floor area under the driver’s feet. But what of that to the people being in the compartment? Both dummies should be "dead" most likely. Even in "Volga", "IZh" and VAZ-2107 the sensors registered dangerous overloads and forces – so what to say about this small "Oka", where the driver and the passengers would be unlikely to survive...
Well, let’s see. The sharp peak running up to 105G means the driver dummy’s head overload. It seems to be dead. But the doctors with the EuroNCAP experts suppose that a brain could not be damaged for less than three milliseconds. So the short peak can be excluded. The hybrid integrated criterion HIC of the head injury is relatively moderated, only 652 – that is actually on the "green zone" boundary!!!
Do you know that:
"Oka" is result of the joint activity between OAO AvtoVAZ and OAO SeAZ.
"Oka" continues to amaze. The load to the neck is within the "green zone" limits. The safety belts press the chest with the force higher than the norm, but just a little. May be the legs are guaranteed to be broken? Nothing like this! Though the driver’s right leg experienced loads that are nearly dangerous – it struck against the badly covered steering wheel and the panel under it with 780 kg force, while the limitation is 900 kg. But this overload do not hit upon the "red zone".
And what about the passenger? Only significant but not dangerous load to the chest from the safety belt – and nothing more!!! The dummy neither touched the front panel by his head, nor experienced any more or less significant overload: HIC criterion is only 173 units. It seems to be impossible, but this is a fact: "Oka" became the third car after "Svyatogor" and VAZ-2110 in which no sensor installed on the Hybrid III dummy fixed any excess over the known dangerous values.
Maybe "Oka’s" cry was the cry of the identity?
|Some results of SeAZ-11113 car tests and estimated parameters upon EuroNCAP method|
|Parameter||Driver-mannequin||Passenger-mannequin||"Green" zone boundary||"Red" zone boundary||Penalization|
|Maximum head overload, g||55||36||72||88||No air-bag, too high shift of steering wheel|
|Neck bending moment, Nm||40||14||42||57|
|Chest compression||33||35||22||50||Car body integrity loss, contact with steering wheel|
|Highest load on thigh-bone, kN||7.8||0.71||3.8||9.07|
|The worst criterion TI of shank injury||0.91||-||0.4||1.3|
|Car body left side horizontal deformation, mm:|
|Parameter||Driver-dummy||Passenger-dummy||"Green" zone boundary||"Red" zone boundary||Penalization|
|- windshield bar||170||-||100||200|
|- steering column flank||170||-||90||110|
|- clutch and brake pedals||170/215||-||100||200|
Actually, as a result of this test the test area experts could grant R94 ÅÝÊ ÎÎÍ Regulation certificate of compliance to SeAZ Serpukhov Motor-car Factory. They could... if "Oka" car would be equipped with inertial safety belts. But the tested car appeared to be equipped with ‘antediluvian’ belts with hard fixing of the diagonal strap to the car body bar. Even in Russia the static belts will soon be prohibited. What to the western countries – the static belts have not be used for about twenty years already.
But the most interesting thing is that "Oka" car showed such good results not contraryly to the archaic static belts, but because of them!
Are you amaized by the race-drivers vitality? Some times the ring-racing bolides crash to the fence at speeds exceeding 200 km/h. The rally cars can drop down to a precipice at a full speed, strike over the rocks, ram onto the age-old pine-trees, etc. Some times the remains of the car are seem to be shapeless pieces of crumpled metal and kevlar debris. And most often the racers safe and sound climb out of the remains.
The racing safety secret is easy – the sportsmen seats inside very durable ‘cage’ of pipes or kevlar panels of a monocoque being tight fastened to the seat by the five-point fixing safety belts. Pay attention: not inertial belts, but static ones. Such belts do not let the driver move towards the interior parts – the driver’s body experiences the same deceleration as the car does. And this deceleration appears to be not too high: for instance, the sensors on the baffles rarely register more than 35G overloads from 64 km/h speed.
"We always said that static belts are better and more safety than inertial ones" – the test area experts groused looking through the printed results. "But we doubt whether somebody would fasten them properly – so that two fingers would hardly pass between the chest and the strap."
Nobody asked the dummies before the crash-test, whether the belts squeeze them – just tightened as it was necessary. And during the crash the belt straps started to act immediately, not letting the dummies accelerate relatively to the decelerating car. But in real life almost nobody uses the static belts properly. At best, the straps remain too free not to disturb people. And most often the belts just hang unused on their bars.
Inertial belts were created just to inspire people to fasten the belts. They are more comfortable as they do not tighten the chest unlike the well-fitted static belts. But they are admittedly less effective. When the fixator starts operating after the strike and jams the bobbin, the belt becomes spreading impacted by the body because the ribbon has a certain elasticity. As the total length of the inertial belt straps is higher (the bobbin is usually hidden at the support of the middle bar of the car body), so the total spread under the loading is higher than that of the short static belt. And there is a such unpleasant thing as the "bobbin effect" – the bobbin would continue spreading under hundreds kilograms of loading even though the axle is fixed. The pyrotechnic pre-tighteners or the strap locks at the bobbin outlet can only approximate the effectiveness of the belts to the elementary archaic tough straps.
So there is a question: how safe is VAZ-11113 car with the well-tightened static safety belts? We have to estimate the results according to the EuroNCAP Estimation Protocol rigid requirements. In spite of the relatively low overloads, the driver’s head safety may be estimated as low because of an air-bag absence and dangerous steering wheel proximity that was shifted 170 mm backward and 70 mm up. The dummy face was crossed by a trace of strike by the steering wheel (in particular this was the sharp peak on the diagram). The "scar" stretches via the left eye-socket – a real person would not avoid a damage from such a contact. It is nice that the steering wheel of "Oka" car is created according to minimum passive safety requirements – the steering wheel tread started to bend, and there is a collapsible cover plate on the hub. However, the cover plate dropped away during the crash...
The driver’s chest is also protected insufficiently in "Oka" car. Well, during the crash the loads by the belt exceeded the safety level just a little. But there was a direct contact with the steering wheel. The legs are either protected badly, especially right one, because of the brake pedal shift to 215 mm. And the living space in the legs area is too small – the floor deformed too much.
In spite of the gloomy forecasts, the people can survive from such a crash! However, the driver and the passengers should be fastened tightly by the safety belts. And it would be better to put into the trunk.
The tests were lead and analized by the independent experts – "Autoreview" newspaper