Moose crash test dummy: master's thesis

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Magnus Gens

In certain areas of our planet there are big wild animals. One big species is the moose (called elk in certain regions). Scandinavia has a very large moose population and car-moose collision is a huge problem with many fatal outcomes. In order to reduce the number of injuries caused by passenger cars colliding with moose a valid and repeatable method to arrange staged accidents is needed. A moose dummy was constructed after thorough research work.

 To get well acquainted with the animal’s physical characteristics the zoo in Kolmården was visited. Veterinary Bengt Röken contributed with expertise and general information on the moose. A recently killed – and still warm – deer was studied rigorously and that gave valuable impressions of deer animals’ structure. The main components of the test dummy are 116 rubber plates but there are also various steel parts holding the pieces together. A database containing all part details was created. When the parameters were set so that the location of the center-of-gravity and shape was moose-like it was used as a platform for a three-dimensional CAD model.

 The idea was to keep to common materials that could be obtained throughout the world. Trelleborg AB in Spain manufactures the rubber.  Its original purpose of use is to cover truck beds when hauling heavy rocks. The rubber quality is soft (40 Shore) and very hard to rip. The density is 1050 kg/m3. When all the drawing work was completed printouts were sent to the manufacturers. The dummy was assembled and crash testing began. Two modern Saabs and one old Volvo were tested. The crash test results were very pleasing since the demolished cars looked very much like cars involved in real moose crashes. The dummy is potent to endure many crash tests before it has to be replaced.

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