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The current method of conducting bead unseat testing is described in Section 5.
The location of this applied force, called the "A dimension," is specified in a table in the regulation and is a function of the rim diameter and designed to place the bead unseat block (also called the "shoe") at the point of maximum tire section width.
In 2004, NHTSA requested that ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials) convene a working group under the direction of the F9 (tire) Committee to study bead unseat testing and make an industry proposal to deal with current and future industry needs for passenger, light truck and temporary spare tires.
The "A dimension" formula was also redesigned to account for the requirement of simultaneously missing the top of the rim flange with the unseat block when load is being applied, and properly registering the unseat block on the point of maximum tire cross-section without the block slipping oft" of the upper sidewall during load application.
The bead unseat blocks are made from cast 355 T-6 aluminum with a 1.
One test that showed promise as a possible replacement for the current bead unseat test was the wedge bead unseat test method, as shown in figure 3.
This got me thinking about whether the increase in faller-rate is a function of more jockeys riding in the National with shorter stirrups, because riding styles have changed over the decades with more jockeys riding shorter, and for this to be a plausible theory we should surely have seen an increase in the number of unseats in the 2000s compared to the 1990s and definitely the 1980s.
The figures look good because the number of unseats in Nationals staged in the 00s (earliest to most recent) read 5-13-7-11-7-6-6-7-8-3-7, the 90s; 4-4-4-6-6-5-4-4-3 and the 80s; 2-1-4-5-4-2-1-6-2-0.