MGA Research MGA Research MGA Research MGA Research MGA Research MGA Research

Industry Challenges in Evaluating Vibration/Shock Performance

Tue, Apr 23, 2019

Mechanical Vibration and Shock issues pose significant challenges to many industries including automotive, aerospace, defense, and military fields. The development of robust products that can be exposed to long term vibration exposure or periodic shocks without degradation is critical to the overall performance of any system. As is the case with many product design approaches, the ability to evaluate parts or smaller systems on a component level basis is vital to a successful development process.

 

 

 

Early and Realistic Evaluation Helps Design

The evaluation of components early in the design process is a key part of the overall development cycle. From an automotive standpoint, OEM’s work with suppliers to establish the vibration/shock environments that components will experience in the field. In many cases, data is collected with early prototype or pre-production vehicles. This data is then utilized to form the baseline for tests to simulate a lifetime of exposure. For other industries, there is little to no opportunity to evaluate performance in the final end-stage application. For example, it is not feasible to test many of the components for space vehicles in a full-scale manner; i.e. launching them into orbit to test whether they work prior to the official launch. So, the components themselves must be exposed to an environment which simulates the launch conditions as the actual launch may be the first and only exposure.

 

Innovative Approaches to Shock Events

Over the years, MGA’s engineers have developed new ways to simulate the high amplitude shock events that are present in various applications. These approaches have been the result of MGA’s strong collaboration between our laboratory personnel and our equipment team. The approach implemented is to draw upon the technologies that have been developed at MGA in the areas of new sled designs, pyroshock devices, dynamic impactors, and large-scale drop towers.  In many cases, these approaches have been combined to produce the desired acceleration shock pulses. A few recent examples include the following:

 
Battery Shock Testing

MGA currently evaluates large format batteries utilizing our newest shock test system. These systems are based upon advanced impactor technologies developed over the years by MGA. These systems can be operated in the horizontal and vertical shock modes. The units have been sized so that they fit into a battery containment chamber. Many of these chambers have been commissioned throughout various MGA facilities as the need for evaluating of experimental battery testing has grown.

 
Pyroshock

MGA has been conducting Pyroshock testing for many years. This type of testing simulates the conditions evident when a space vehicle or missile is launched. Peak acceleration of up to 10,000 g’s are sometimes seen in these events. Over the years, MGA has developed new devices and procedures to be able to match a very wide range of pyroshock environments.

 
Curb Impact

Regarding tire development, MGA has been conducting tests to simulate the dynamics of the tire-curb impact. The facility uses a hydraulic-based system with advanced, high flow servo valves and state-of-the art control. The system is tunable so that a wide range of curb impact events can be simulated.

 

 

Traditional Vibration and Shock Solutions

For the automotive, aerospace, and defense industries, electrodynamic (ED) shakers are utilized extensively to evaluate components over a wide range of acceleration levels and frequency ranges. These systems are used to test products from both a vibration durability approach, as well as simulated, repeated shock exposures. Over the years, various standardized procedures have been developed for specific types of components.

 

MGA offers ED shaker test services out of its network of laboratories. A wide range of shakers are available; with force ratings up to 20,000 lbs. All of the systems are integrated with environmental chamber capabilities so that components can be simultaneously exposed to vibration and extreme temperature cycling.  In addition, all vibration systems are equipped with state-of-the-art control systems that include sine, random, sine-on-random, sine-on-sine, random-on-random, and resonance dwell and track. Several locations are also equipped with semi-anechoic chambers (quiet rooms) that provide a customized noise evaluation designed to run below a specified decibel level. 

MGA also offers a comprehensive range of options with regards to custom fatigue/vibration solutions utilizing closed-loop servo hydraulic technology. Systems have been developed to apply higher frequency, multi-point loads on complex structures to simulate particular real-world applications. MGA offers customers significant facilities combined with highly experienced, expert personnel to tackle complex, multi-load test cases.

 

If you are interested in learning more about these capabilities, please contact Paige Choate at (248) 577-5001 or by email at paige.choate@mgaresearch.com.