Impact Crash Sled Lab

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute &
Center for Injury Biomechanics Crash Sled Lab

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute / Center for Injury Biomechanics Crash Sled Lab, which is located in the Corporate Research Center (CRC), had it’s grand opening on September 14, 2009.  The lab is primarily funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


The 10,000-square foot CIB facility houses offices, conference rooms, an impact laboratory, and a high-speed biplane X-ray suite.  The facility itself was designed with several characteristics to reduce energy consumption.  These include a custom lighting system that uses 50 percent less power than standard sled lighting systems; a highly efficient heating and cooling system that recaptures heat from the exhaust air; and a custom cooling system designed for the hydraulic testing device that will save over 3,000 gallons of water each day. The jewel in this research showcase, however, is a 1.4 mega newton (MN) ServoSled System crash sled manufactured by Seattle Safety. This sled is used primarily in the study of transportation-related trauma with its chief applications found in the automotive environment. This is the only facility in the world with the unique capabilities of high rate impact testing to high rate imaging. These tools will allow our researchers to be leaders in nationally- and internationally-funded research.

The general theme for the new crash sled lab is “Saving Lives and Preserving the Planet” and the ServoSled System crash sled will help the CIB to better understand the mechanisms of injury and to develop better mitigation schemes and protection systems, thereby saving lives. It can be used to recreate crash pulses from real-world crashes where people sustain serious injuries.

Center for Injury Biomechanics
Impact Laboratory & Crash Sled
VCOM II Building
2280 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-1890