TRL’s crash testing expertise owes a large part to its involvement in the improvement of safety in a range of motorsport activities.  For many decades, TRL operated an FIA test laboratory at Crowthorne, conducting research which led to the development and approval of tests for numerous FIA Motorsport Standards, including the advanced helmets for racing drivers. 

Although we no longer crash test racing cars, TRL offers confidential, comprehensive and impartial advice to motorsport and automotive clients, to support performance assessment of new features, optimise safety, and provide due-diligence of design.

Helmet testing

We continue to use the TRL Drop Rig for development, research and homologation testing of advanced motorsport helmets, motorcycle helmets and pedal cycle helmets.

TRL’s Drop Rig is a versatile and cost-effective test facility which uses gravitational acceleration to propel test samples to impact suitable anvils and structures.

Our unique drop tower is capable of accelerating objects by free-fall through more than 15m, to achieve impact speed exceeding 17m/s (63km/h). Either in a guided or free-motion configuration, impact performance can be assessed by precisely guiding test samples onto a variety of impact anvils. Dynamic crush performance can also be assessed by impacting energy-absorbing structures which may be secured to an instrumented base. This facility also incorporates a test bench which can be configured for controlled loading of materials and complex structures such as HANS devices.

The drop tower is ideal for development, research and homologation testing of helmets, energy absorbing structures, and other motorsport accessories and components.

A full range of equipment and instrumentation supports the rig including 16 channels @100kHz for data acquisition, high speed photography, environmental-conditioning equipment, dynamic friction measurement, standard test headforms and anvils, and tri-axial load cell, to 30kN in three axes.

The equipment is extremely adaptable so is ideally suited to innovative research projects such as reconstruction of pedal cycle, e-bike and motorcycle accident head injury mechanisms. 
 


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