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New test technology: First presentation of LBF wheel-road simulator

26.09.2007 - (idw) Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF

As part of its "8th International Users Conference on Biaxial Wheel Fatigue Testing" in Darmstadt, Germany, the Fraunhofer LBF presented its newly developed LBF wheel-road simulator. Using this novel test concept, the safety and durability of rotating vehicle components can be checked and evaluated, such as wheels, hubs and bearings. The technical alterations primarily aim to improve the design, materials, manufacturing processes and joining technologies, taking into consideration mechanical and thermal load profiles. "With this new generation of wheel test rig, developed along the same traditional lines as the patented ZWARP test rigs, we can provide our customers with a further improved quality of laboratory simulation," says Ruediger Heim, head of the competence centre wheel/ hub/spindle at the
Fraunhofer-Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF. The new wheel-road simulator is characterised by its modular assembly, with the main modules being the chassis, actuating elements, four load-controlled degrees of freedom, as well as a variably adjustable degree of camber inclination.

For sixteen years now, the conference has been serving as a platform for car and truck manufacturers, as well as their suppliers, to discuss innovations in the market for test and manufacturing technologies with experts from Europe, the United States and South America. The lectures cover such topics as the development of load profiles, current trends in the manufacture of friction-welded and high-pressure casting wheels, as well as carbon fibre-reinforced plastic wheels.

The Fraunhofer LBF is considered a pioneer in multi-axial structural durability testing of vehicle wheels. It has more than 25 years experience in the development and operation of test facilities, such as the multi-axial wheel/hub test rig ZWARP. In the meantime, alongside the partially valid standard test procedures for the authorization of wheels such as radial fatigue and cornering fatigue, this type of wheel test has been integrated in manufacturers' company standards and the recommendations of various associations. This means it serves as a procedure with a quasi-normative character, is known and accepted worldwide and is increasingly becoming established as an international standard for enhanced safety in vehicle manufacturing.

Background: In the biaxial wheel/hub test rig (ZWARP) the structural durability proof of the complete wheel-hub group is carried out by simulating a virtual test track. Here, in a nested test rig programme, the complete lifetime of a vehicle - 300,000 km for cars and one million km for trucks - is reproduced in less than two weeks. This allows the optimisation of design, materials, manufacturing processes and joining technologies, taking into consideration mechanical and thermal load profiles.
Weitere Informationen: http://www.lbf.fraunhofer.de/zwarp.html
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