Testing Times

Ben Campbell - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Testing times at AtW...

After 3 years of development work, we have spent the last 12 months manufacturing and testing a completely new lightweight composite modular system for our bus bodies. As with any new vehicle introduced for road use in Australia, it has to undergo and pass stringent Federal Transport testing and evaluation, in order to be allowed on our roads.

R.O.P.S testing (Roll Over Protection System) ADR 59

The lightweight composite modular system has been tested for Full Volume Approval (not restricted to 100 vehicle / year as is Low Volume Approval). To meet these regulations you are required to physically roll over an entire loaded bus to prove it can withstand such an impact without coming in contact with on board seated / seat belted passengers.

The test requires that the vehicle is complete. The body chassis with seats, glass etc. loaded to whatever seating kgs are required, minimum 65kg / person, luggage weight 15kgs / person, fuel weight, air conditioner weight etc. The bus is then placed onto a platform that is a minimum of 800mm high and hinged on one side. The whole unit is then tipped off, sideways. The impact simulates a bus during a roll over, 800mm from the ground, as it would be if airborne during a real roll over.

The bus seats are fitted with foam styrene templates at various locations across from the roof supports simulating the body and head position. The templates have long pins inserted through the styrene at set measurements from the side roof supports. The amount of deflection of the body is shown by how far the pins are pushed into the styrene foam templates during impact. High speed cameras capture the roll over from three different angles, front, rear and internal.

The ATW Composite Fibreglass body passed this test with ease and even allowed us to re-use the body for further testing as it was perfectly straight and unaffected from the roll over test.

Seat anchorage test ADR 68

Federal Transport requires a section of a bus body where the seats bolt to the floor and walls to be tested for strength. This test is for the floor mounts and wall mounts of the bus body, the seats have already passed their individual test for strength previously. As our lightweight composite modular system is an Australian first for this industry, we had to approach it very differently from the norm. The test required us to test a complete bus module section with 16 seating positions, with 14 seat belted and 2 without seat belts which is for gathering multiple test data. The bus section is placed on a sled and brought up to speed of 50 klm/hr. and stopped in milliseconds, simulating a head on crash at 20+ G’s of force subjected to the entire bus body section. The results from the APV test Centre in Melbourne were nothing but astounding.

The comment that the ATW lightweight composite modular system had the best results ever witnessed for sheer strength of the body was very pleasing indeed.

The ATW lightweight composite modular system is set to revolutionise the Mining Bus market, but will also be an ideal option for other industries and areas such as Tour Buses, Armed Services Vehicles, Mobile Lunch Rooms, Mobile Show Rooms, Mobile Healthcare Units, School buses, Government Vehicles, Indigenous Community Buses, Adventure Tours, Remote Vehicle Based Offices, the possibilities are endless.

For more information on the new lightweight composite modular system please contact our sales team on 1800 468 590.