Faculty Mentor

Shawn Duan


The purpose of this paper is to validate the impact attenuator designed by SDSU Formula SAE team according to 2010 Formula SAE rules. The impact attenuator is made of Plascore PCGA-XR1-5.2-1/4-P-3003 aluminum honeycomb that is pre-crushed to 245 psi. The test was dynamically performed using a 661 lb mass dropped 8.3 ft onto the material sample at 23 ft/sec, and data was measured with an Olympus i-SPEED 3 high speed camera. The impact attenuator must have an average deceleration equal to or less than 20 G’s and a peak deceleration equal to or less than 40 G’s. Two specimens were tested. The physical dimensions of the first specimen are 10 inches long by 8 inches wide by 5 inches tall. Data of the first sample showed a peak deceleration of 46.88 G’s and an average deceleration of 17.86 G’s. The velocity at impact was above 24ft/sec. The second specimen is 10 inches long by 10 inches wide by 4 inches tall. The second sample had a peak deceleration of 36.2 G’s and an average deceleration of 14 G’s. The velocity at impact was slightly above 23ft/sec. The first sample was unacceptable and the second specimen was acceptable under the guidelines set forth by Formula SAE Rule B.3.21.1.



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