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03/17/2015

Crash Box Event at EDAG in Ingolstadt

28 technical tests for the Formula Student teams' racing cars

This year's "Formula Student" international design competition has entered the crucial phase. Before the students climb into the 1-seater sports cars they have developed themselves to compete against other teams from all around the world at the Hockenheimring, their racing machines must first undergo stringent testing. It goes without saying that, besides aspects such as performance, handling and design, the safety of the racing prototypes is of the utmost importance. A central element of the design, and one which needs to be tested separately, is the so-called crash box, which is expected to provide the driver with the best protection possible in the event of a head-on crash. One of the strict Formula Student rules is that this part of the crumple zone must pass a separate function test - and computer simulation will just not do. When it comes down to it, the crash box must also withstand a real impact test. And to carry it out as effectively as possible, the young development engineers need the help of the right experts and technical equipment. A case for EDAG.

Part of the standard equipment of design engineers working on crash tests and simulation is the drop tower. A test stand that can be used to test vehicle parts by dropping them from a height of 6 metres at drop speeds of up to 36 km/h, to reconstruct a crash under realistic conditions. EDAG once again offered the young talent in the automotive world the chance to use this drop tower, which for the last three years has generally been reserved for the validation of new production vehicles at the EDAG site in Ingolstadt. Every year, to honour the commitment of the Formula Student contestants, teams from all around the world are invited to register for the test series before the competition takes place, and have their crash boxes tested at the EDAG test laboratory in Ingolstadt, to ensure that they conform with the rules and safety requirements.

The special thing about this is the lively interaction that goes with it. When the prospective engineers have the assistance of both the equipment and the experts, the effort is doubly worthwhile. This year alone, 29 teams registered and made good use of EDAG's test equipment and the know-how of the development engineers. In the end, all the participants' crash boxes passed the preliminary tests - not least because it was possible to give the students useful tips on how to optimise their designs.

Also attending the crash event in the Audi city was the WHZ Racing Team from Zwickau, the winners of last year's "EDAG Integration Excellence Award". For this award, which was initiated in 2012, the best five Formula Student teams are invited to take part in a contest during which they present their developments to a jury of EDAG experts. Not only are the technical standards of the concepts judged, but also the project management qualities of the teams, and the professionalism of their presentations.

"Year for year, we are impressed by the excellent performance of the Formula Student teams - after all, the competing teams are required to look at all facets of automotive development, and demonstrate their technical and project management skills. The perfect training for a future career in vehicle engineering," points out Volker Fink, EDAG's Key Account Manager for Audi. "Which is why we also look upon our support as a chance to meet highly motivated students and interest them in working for our company at a later date."