Vibration And Climate Testing Of Automotive Components

9th September 2013
Jacqueline Regnier

The Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in South Carolina, USA, is aiming to become the premier automotive and motorsports research and educational centre in the world.

In 2012, as part of their ambition to connect with industries also based in South Carolina, CU-ICAR built a Component Testing Laboratory to perform durability and validation testing for BMW and their suppliers, as well as other vehicle manufacturers. By pairing the needs of automotive companies with the research of their students and faculties, CU-ICAR is assisting mutually beneficial development.

This laboratory is focused on supporting local manufacturers by testing and developing automotive components - and systems. Opened in September 2012, the laboratory lets CU-ICAR offer testing services for interior components to tier-one automotive suppliers - complementing their established full-vehicle testing and systems-integration research. The facility aims to add value to automotive companies in South Carolina, to help those companies become more competitive.

The laboratory is divided into two test chambers: the solar chamber and the vibration chamber, where the LDS shaker is situated, along with an environmental testing facility.

Carlos A. Montes, Lead Engineer for Research and Testing said: “A typical test for interior components for BMW simulates the lifecycle, so the component or system is also tested under climatic conditions.”

At the system’s heart is an LDS V875 longstroke shaker with a slip table. The environmental chamber fits over the slip table - or the vertical vibration table - during temperature and humidity testing. It is designed to test in two axes - vertical and horizontal - and to be very quick to transition between the two possibilities. The shaker can also be easily moved by means of a specially designed air glide system.

The full Clemson University case study is available to read here.

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