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  • Writer's pictureNATALIA SOUSA

The Duisburg-Essen Formula Student: E-Team, Conducts Crash Tests at the MESSRING Facility.

Updated: Mar 5

The Formula Student Team of the University of Duisburg-Essen has completed a component test at the MESSRING facility on the way to the construction and development of their A40 race car.

Formula Student is an international engineering competition for students developed by SAE. Since 2006 it has been coordinated in Germany by Formula Student Germany e.V. The program aims to provide opportunities for young engineers to gain experience in design and manufacturing and learn economic aspects of automotive engineering. The teams participate in national and international events using their self-constructed cars. In 2010, Formula Student added the vehicle class of electric-powered racing cars.

The E-Team Duisburg-Essen is part of the program, and they are registered as a non-profit association. The team consists of around 60 students who jointly develop their E-racer under the motto #wiePottihnschuf; the group participate in Formula Student racing events. The group of young engineers headed to Munich to utilise the in-house test facility at Messring.

"It's always great to see young, dedicated engineers working on crash testing and vehicle safety. The entire MESSRING team wishes the E-Team Duisburg-Essen a successful season and safe driving!"

Says, Dierk Arp, Managing Director, MESSRING GmbH

The task:

Before racing - just as in industry - it is necessary to undergo technical approval of the safety-relevant regulations relating to the chassis and running gear design and the creation of the powertrain.

One approval requirement is testing a cuboid crash box that protects the driver in the foot area in the cockpit in the event of frontal impact situations.

The test protocol prescribes the following conditions:

- Mass to be braked at least 300kg

- Impact speed 7 m/s

- Absorbed energy at least 7350 joules

- During the test, the acceleration must be measured continuously and then displayed graphically

- Maximum acceleration 40g with an average acceleration of maximum of 20g

Test preparation

To meet these specifications, the MESSRING team organised a sled test setup for the students. The test-sled with a total mass of 365 kg, including the crash-box, is attached to a trolley with folding hooks and accelerated precisely to the required 7 m/s in the MESSRING MicroTrack before it crashes into a solid barrier to achieve a controlled collision.

As to replicate as closely as possible the later deployment location of the crash-box, the box is mounted on a partial replica of the vehicle's steel tube space frame. This reproduction of the crash box and space frame is then attached to the front of the sled by a flange plate. The engineering team were able to subsequently replicate and evaluate the crash effects on the parts of the vehicle structure.

Data acquisition is an essential part of all crash tests: the team installed and calibrated a M=CAM to record high-speed footage for later evaluation. Powerful M=LIGHT LEDs provided industry-standard lighting for producing the recordings of the crash test. The sled was equipped with M=BUS Pro Onboard modules. The crash-proof and compact loggers reliably record and store the sensor data collected during the test.

Test execution

After preparing the test object and the test setup, it's time for the actual test; Messring has provided a video of the test:

The test was a complete success; both the E-Student and Messring teams enjoyed the experience, which allowed the student team to gain first-hand knowledge and get hands-on with some of the most advanced hardware available in the market today.

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