On the directionality of rollover damage and abrasions

Turriff D, King DJ, Bertoch J (2015). On the directionality of rollover damage and abrasions (2015-01-1421). Society of Automotive Engineers.

Vehicle rollovers generate complicated damage patterns as a result of multiple vehicle-to-ground contacts. The goal of this work was to isolate and characterize specific directional features in coarse- and fine-scale scratch damage generated during a rollover crash. Four rollover tests were completed using stock 2001 Chevrolet Trackers.

Vehicles were decelerated and launched from a rollover test device to initiate driver’s side leading rolls onto concrete and dirt surfaces. Gross vehicle damage and both macroscopic and microscopic features of the scratch damage were documented using standard and macro lenses, a stereomicroscope, and a scanning electron microscope (SEM).

The most evident indicators of scratch direction, and thus roll direction, were accumulations of abraded material found at the termination points of scratch-damaged areas. Abrasive wear mechanisms caused local plastic deformation patterns that were evident on painted sheet metal surfaces as well as plastic trim pieces. In both cases, abraded material is plowed towards and accumulates at the end of the scratches. Understanding the orientation and direction of scratches caused during rollover crashes can help to identify the direction of the rolls and potentially provide information regarding the number of rolls.

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On the directionality of rollover damage and abrasions (2015-01-1421)