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Mercedes-Benz X-Rayed A Car Crash To See What Happens Inside A Wreck

2024-03-15 10:33:28

Mercedes recorded a crash test of its C-Class using literal X-ray vision to yield more detailed results.

Mercedes-Benz conducted a crash test that goes beyond merely recording what happens to a car in a collision from a few exterior and interior angles, and has recorded through the car’s sheet metal and components with an X-ray machine. The test is the first of its kind, according to the Deutsch automaker, which was able to conduct the X-ray crash test with the help of the Fraunhofer-Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, or Ernst Mach Institute (EMI), in Freiburg, Germany.

The X-ray crash test could help carmakers better understand how impacts affect a vehicle and its passengers. It may seem like an obvious answer to the question of what happens to a car in a major crash. The car (along with anything inside of it) is subject to high impact forces and things are forcibly smashed together. But the test is reportedly teaching Mercedes exactly how things deform during a crash, and is giving the carmaker insight into precisely how a crash dummy is pressed into or against the cabin walls of a vehicle. Per Mercedes-Benz:

At 60 km/h, a device with a crash barrier rams into the orange C-Class saloon and hits it full on the side. Crash tests are always something special – even for the experts. But the really spectacular part of this side impact test is located in a frame on the hall ceiling above the vehicle: A linear accelerator serves as an X-ray camera. Together with the Fraunhofer-Institute for High-Speed Dynamics, the EMI (Ernst Mach Institute) in Freiburg, Mercedes-Benz has now carried out the world’s first X-ray crash with a real car. On board was one SID II dummy on the left-hand side facing the impact. This is a test specimen with a female anatomy, specially designed for side impact tests.

This technology demonstration (proof of concept) at the EMI research crash facility in Freiburg has shown that high-speed X-ray technology can be used to visualise highly dynamic internal deformation processes. Previously invisible deformations and their exact processes thus become transparent. The numerous, high-resolution images allow precise analysis.