Impact testing on plastic components used in cars and motorcycles determines their response to a sudden high-speed mechanical impact providing invaluable safety information. This is exampled by numerous studies completed by automotive companies on vehicle bumpers. To absorb an impact, such as an unintentional bump at low speeds, bumpers must deform in a flexible manner. However, at the same time, they must have the ability to break and dissipate part of the impact energy during a major incident.
These material properties must be determined at a multitude of working temperatures and conditions.
To understand the impact resistance properties of bumper materials, a series of tests on specimens should be conducted, in plaque form, at varying impact energies, velocities, and temperatures. After collecting this data on the raw material, the finished bumper can then be tested under the same set of conditions. Fully instrumenting the test with a tup and data acquisition system, we are able to evaluate how the bumper reacts to an impact event by studying the changes in the load-deformation curves during the test.