Development of Accelerated Structural Durability Test Program for a Mini-truck and its Components 2006-01-0085
Today, automotive development cycles are getting shorter and shorter and launching a quality product with thinner project timelines has become a challenge to automobile industry. This paper describes an effort to device an accelerated test program in the development work of a mini truck.
An accelerated structural durability test cycle was developed and implemented on the vehicle from the customer usage profile. The entire work, consisting of building of a concept mule prototype to a fully tooled up pre production prototype vehicle was completed within 20 months. The work involved, collecting customer usage, instrumenting the vehicle, collecting load time histories on service roads, creating proving ground test cycle using rain flow range-pair matrix, creating the drive file for 4 poster, giving the load data to CAE models and testing vehicles and its components. Coherent cross functional team members involved in the project from design, prototype development departments did implementation of design related modifications based on test results and CAE. Load time histories were in the form of tyre patch loads, which were derived from strain gauge signals from suspension and axle components.
To take development cycle further on a fast track, tests were also conducted on a road simulator to further shorten the test time by 50%. For component testing, test cycles were generated using data collected on proving ground and service roads, based on equivalent fatigue damage correlation. This reduced the component testing time even further from months to a few number of days/hours.
Customer survey indicated that overloading would be done by the customers. The effect on the structural parts like chassis frame and other components was also projected by carrying out tests with the projected overload.