We have recently delivered a fully instrumented drop tower for testing materials and impact absorption systems in infrastructures and means of transport to the University of La Coruña Structural Mechanics Group (GME) through CITEEC, the Center for Technological Innovation in Building and Civil Engineering.
The research lines development in structural dynamics of this GME team made it necessary to carry out impact tests for the verification and validation of the advanced numerical models achieved. Likewise, the development of other lines and even technical assistance to the industry will be possible thanks to this.
It is a simple, robust and safe-handling turnkey tower, so the productivity of tests is very high, without requiring a high specialization by the user. The system is capable of performing autonomously the whole test sequence, once the specimen and the appropriate impactor have been selected, and the desired speed objective has been established in the control program. The user's final approval is only required at the moment of release for safety reasons, by means of a confirmation materialized in the form of a selector with a key without interlocking. It therefore represents a fully automated system, including the highest possible safety performance.
The supplied tower covers a range from 10 to 25,000 Joules, with the possibility of further expansion. In order to operate in such a wide range of energies, four different impact slides are available with several configurations, allowing drop masses from 2 kg to 500 kg.
It also incorporates an anti-rebound device, synchronized with the execution of the tests, and an MVP-10 electronic speed meter entirely designed by VTI. The cutting-edge control and data acquisition system allows at the same time displaying on screen all study parameters involved: penetration, speed, acceleration, impact force, etc. This enables convenient results registration and technical reports generation.
Thanks to the real experimentation in the laboratories, it is possible to better understand the impact resistance of the materials and structures used in the industry, which allows optimizing their design.