Webinar Gives an Inside Look into Crash Testing

A recent webinar highlighted the importance of crash testing and how minimum drive-away time (MDAT) relates to calibration. The webinar featured Mike Rea, a senior product engineer for SIKA Corporation (Sika), the webinar’s sponsor.

Rea began the Crash Testing in the Auto Glass Replacement (AGR) Industry webinar by explaining the importance of crash testing. He said that both crash testing and MDAT play critical roles in ensuring vehicle occupant safety in the event of a crash. “Crash testing and MDAT are vital to … ensure customer safety by providing the safest adhesive system available,” said Rea.

How MDAT and Calibration Relate

Toward the end of the webinar Rea made it very clear that MDAT can impact calibrations. In static calibrations the vehicle cannot be moved until the MDAT has been met. However a static calibration can be performed before the drive-away time has been met if the vehicle is not moved. “Dynamic calibrations cannot be done until the drive-away time has been met, safety is number one with our products and since this type of calibration involves the vehicle being in motion it is not safe to calibrate unless the time has been met,” explained Rea.

Developing MDAT

Rea also explained that MDATs can vary at different environmental conditions. He said the cure speed of all one-component polyurethanes is dependent on temperature and humidity. This can be seen through warmer car air, which has the ability to hold more moisture when compared to colder air. Rea said it’s important to note that reaction speed is faster when in high heat and humidity and is slower when in cooler and less humid conditions.

Rea said his company has performed more than 70 crash tests worldwide since 1987 and has invested more than $2 million to validate MDATs of its products. But not just any vehicle can be used in crash testing, according to Rea. A few key features in the vehicle selection for crash testing include:

  • Common car models out of the top 10 mid-size cars;
  • A vehicle that was not involved in any accidents prior to the crash testing;
  • A vehicle tested should be less than six years old;
  • No visible corrosion around the pinchweld;
  • No sunroofs, as that could affect the body structure;
  • Original equipment glass should be installed, as replacement glass could lead to corrosion; and
  • The vehicle should have less than 100,000 miles.

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