Łukasiewicz Research Network – Institute of Aviation

Crash tests

Enable verification of the strength of structures or their components as a result of collision with various objects.

Crash tests – testing capabilities

We offer two pneumatic cannons used for impact testing. The pneumatic cannon is used to test the strength of structural elements in impact tests with objects moving against them at high speeds. The cannons allow the throwing of objects, most often gel projectiles imitating birds, using the energy of compressed air stored in pressure vessels. 

The main types of objects tested are material samples and aircraft structures or their fragments, e.g. floor panels, engine intakes.

Crash tests – scope of services

  • tests verifying the strength of the structure;
  • glass puncture resistance tests;
  • tests of railway windshields in accordance with:
    • UIC-651 card,
    • PN-EN 15152-2019 standard;
  • measurement of projectile velocity using an optical gate or a high-speed camera (accuracy ±3%);
  • strain gauge measurements at 200 kHz/16 channels in quarter, half or full bridge;
  • strain gauge measurements (quarter, half or full bridge system) and other physical quantities, e.g. force, pressure, acceleration – up to 64 channels with sampling rates up to 200 kHz;
  • preparation of gel projectiles (and not only) with a weight of: 
    • 1 kg, 
    • 1.81 kg, 
    • 3.63 kg in accordance with ASTM F330 standard;
  • preparation of sabots;
  • non-destructive tests;
  • FEM crash tests;
  • the possibility of using additional high-speed cameras.

Crash test – equipment

  • 200 mm air gun for Crash tests used to test objects in the conditions of the so-called Crash, i.e. impact tests at high crash speeds:
    • muzzle velocity: up to 200 m/s (for 0.3 kg object weight);
    • maximum diameter of the tested object: 200mm;
    • maximum projectile weight – 5 kg;
    • projectile type:
      • gel, 
      • wood, 
      • stone, 
      • steel;
    • remote triggering of the shot;
    • compact design structure enabling work outside the laboratory;
    • data collection and measurement system;
    • fast camera Phantom VEO 410L with tracking function (TEMA Motion software).
  • pneumatic cannon DPZ-250:
    • maximum working pressure: 15 bar,
    • inner diameter of the barrel (caliber): 250 mm;
    • barrel length: 8 m;
    • max projectile speed: 310 m/s (projectile weight 1 kg),
    • maximum mass of the thrown projectile: 15 kg (speed 230 m/s).
  • mobile air gun:
    • barrel caliber: 125mm;
    • maximum diameter of a sabot shell 105mm;
    • maximum projectile speed: approx. 400 km/h;
    • projectile velocity measurement accuracy: approx. ±0.5%;
    • projectile velocity accuracy: approx. ±0.5%;
    • adjustment range of the height of the barrel axis from the ground: 1.5 – 2.2 m;
    • currently used standard projectiles: 1 kg and 20 g.

The stand is used to perform certification tests of rail vehicles in terms of glass penetration resistance in accordance with the requirements of the UIC 651 Charter. The recipients of the works are manufacturers of rail vehicles and manufacturers of glass.

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