Amazing and curious facts: Did you know that...

Nov 30, 2016

…the side markings along the crash tracks, which look like a QR code, are there to provide orientation to a drone? The drone flies along the track before a crash to make sure that there are no longer any personnel there.

...each of the five large cross-members in the unsupported area of the crash hall weighs around 210 tonnes? They allow an obstacle-free area of 90 m x 90 m.

...the temperature on the day had to be taken into account when installing these steel cross-members? This was very important owing to thermal expansion of the steel.

…the pits at the collision points of the crash tracks have a depth of five metres? They house modern high-speed cameras which film the impact from below. Thanks to the compact Microtrack system, the guide rails for the vehicles are much narrower than before (70 mm rather than 180 mm in the old system). This means that unlike before, almost the entire underbody of the vehicle can be filmed.

...the glass panels covering the pits are eleven centimetres thick? They can withstand the weight of trucks, which can now be tested in an enclosed hall for the first time.

..."Ants" are an important working aid in the TFS? The three-wheeled electric scooters with which personnel in the crash centre can cover the long distances are known as "Ants". They are capable of up to 22 km/h. An additional luggage carrier allows items weighing up to 50 kg to be carried as well.

…reinforced bodyshells can be reused several times for sled tests? In this crash simulation a test sled is accelerated and braked. A test object (vehicle bodyshell or assembly) is mounted on the sled and subjected to the forces arising during a real vehicle crash. These sled tests allow non-destructive testing of individual components, especially restraint systems. least one of these test bodyshells for each Mercedes-Benz model series is kept in stock in the high-bay warehouse? Before every test, the bodyshells are equipped with the interior features to be tested in the workshops located directly below.

…the crash tracks have to be precisely level? Level crash track surfaces (maximum tolerance 5 mm per 100 m) are important for crash tests with mobile barriers, where lateral impacts are simulated, for example. Apart from their pneumatic tyres, these barriers have no suspension system and might begin to oscillate on a less than completely level surface, falsifying the crash test result. To ensure a completely level surface, the floor slab rests on approx. 500 concrete pillars driven 18 m into the ground.

…7000 tonnes of steel were installed in the TFS? The amount of concrete used for the construction is equally impressive: if lined up, all the trucks loaded with concrete for construction of the TFS would form a queue with a length of 40 km.

...the crash blocks on which the crash test vehicles impact weigh up to 540 tonnes? The high weight is necessary for truck impact tests.

...two of the five crash blocks have differently configured barriers on each of their four sides? This means that different crash tests can be configured merely by rotating the block.

…before the crash, the vehicles are accelerated to test speed within just a few seconds? This is done using steel cables driven by powerful electric motors.

…sled tests are filmed by two camera sleds moving in parallel? Mercedes-Benz personnel developed this tandem sled procedure for filming sled tests themselves. Previously the camera was mounted on a boom which had to be accelerated and braked along with the sled, reducing the payload of the test sled. In the new system, a tandem sled fitted with cameras on each side moves in parallel with the test sled during the test. The tandem sleds are powered by linear electric motors.

…a dummy can be fitted with up to 220 measuring points? The new TFS is home to around 120 crash test dummies. These test dummies costing up to 700,000 euros are brought from the store to the precisely temperature-controlled dummy laboratory by a lift. In the TFS Mercedes-Benz has changed over to digital in-dummy measuring technology. The advantage is that thick bunches of cables are replaced by a much more compact data line.

…after the crash test and following a fixed procedure, the vehicles are rotated by 360° along their longitudinal axis by a turning mechanism? This is to check the leak tightness of the fuel tank.