Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Altenhof, W.


Engineering, Mechanical.




This thesis investigates the effect of geometric variations on the crashworthiness performance of new steering wheels. Experimental tests were carried out on steering wheel armatures from popular 1996--2001 compact vehicles. The armatures were subjected to impact loading using a drop tower testing device in which a 57 kg rigid plate impacted a steering wheel with a velocity of 3.2 m/s. The purpose of the experimental tests was to investigate the crashworthiness characteristics of steering wheel armatures from a similar vehicle line in terms of peak loads, Crush Force Efficiency, elastic response, energy efficiency, specific energy absorption and the Energy Absorption Factor. In order to obtain comparable results a rigid plate was used to impact the steering wheel armatures. Based on the findings, a parametric study investigating the effects of dish depth and 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock spoke angle was conducted. A safety rating system for steering wheel armatures was developed and the armatures were ranked in descending order. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2003 .N33. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 42-03, page: 1041. Adviser: W. Altenhof. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2003.