SEAT BELT & AIRBAG – TESTING

ARCCA experts have been designing and testing seatbelts and airbags since the 1970’s. During these early tests, our experts had the rare opportunity to conduct crash testing under controlled conditions with live human subjects for advanced programs with the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Today, ARCCA engineers continue their unmatched testing of seat belt systems.

ARCCA has developed unique test fixtures for static and dynamic testing at their testing facility in Pennsylvania. In evaluating rollover collisions, ARCCA often studies the effects of occupant movement in a full-scale vehicle using live human subjects as well as test dummies. The above inversion rig was developed to support rollover testing. Both the seat belt experts and biomechanics use the information obtained during these tests to evaluate the safety system performance and assess injury causation.

ARCCA engineers have a unique understanding of how a seat belt performs in the real world and  how its small parts can often make a huge difference in a crash.  A sled test set up is pictured above. During such a test, many small parts can be evaluated. In this case, a portion of the seat assembly interfered with the proper function of the seat belt, resulting in poor belt performance. A subsequent test using an alternate design demonstrated that the problem could have been prevented.

Challenger Space Shuttle

After the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion, ARCCA was called upon by NASA to evaluate what alternative seating and restraint protocols would have permitted the astronauts’ safe egress from a falling orbiter.

Ultimately, one of the designs that ARCCA studied was incorporated into all future space shuttles.