The test bench will soon arrive at Applus+ RA’s facilities in Madison Heights, USA, where it will enhance the lab’s capabilities for Life Cycle & Durability testing.
The team at Madison Heights have been performing life cycle and durability testing and failure analysis on automotive parts for over 20 years, but wanted to offer their clients a unique environmental testing solution. That solution would combine door slam tests with climatic testing, providing them with the most accurate data on door slam durability, taking into account the effects of extreme temperatures. Earlier this year, they challenged our engineering team in Barcelona to develop a versatile test bench capable of autonomously slamming car doors from inside of their climatic chambers, all whilst sticking to the test parameters of the various automotive manufacturers.
These tests would consist of multiple types of open-close cycles under different temperatures. To emulate real life conditions, doors would need to be closed from different locations depending on the test phase. The experts at Applus+ RA would be looking for information about the speed at which the door closes for each cycle, which they would use in conjunction with the information derived from their visual examinations of the door under test. The test bench would need to take care of the open-close cycles autonomously, and do so regardless of the extreme temperatures under which it, and the door are exposed.
Our engineers worked closely with the experts at Applus+ RA during the design stage and came up with a system combining electromechanical actuators with an easily-movable mechanical rig. Other key components are a heat/humidity protection system, a fibre-optic speed sensor proven to perform under extreme temperatures, a PC and Control Rack and specifically-designed software to run the OEM-specific test profile.
Once they had assembled the system, our engineers worked with the environmental testing team here in Barcelona to validate its performance inside a climatic chamber, at temperatures of -40ºC to +80ºC.
Following lengthy but successful trials, the test bench will now be commissioned in the Applus+ RA facilities. Finally, QPS, another Applus+ Laboratories company, will perform their expert inspection of the equipment and certify it for use with our clients in America.
This test bench builds on what is already an extensive service portfolio for Life Cycle & Durability testing at Applus+ RA, which specialises in testing automotive parts under veritable real-life conditions. These solutions go beyond compliance testing to provide real-life simulation along with accurate data for automotive manufactures to understand the true limits of their parts so they can design and improve them accordingly.
The American lab boasts a range of different sized climatic chambers as well as advanced durability controllers and facilities for cyclic corrosion. As well as door slam, the lab has dedicated setups for sun loading and fatigue and actuation testing of interior automotive components.