Mechanical Testing - Still Necessary! 2007-01-1768
Over the last decades, the use of computers has become an integral part of the engine development process. Computer-based tools are increasingly used in the design process, and especially the layout of the various subsystems is conducted by means of simulation models. Computer-aided engineering plays a central role e.g. in the design of the combustion process as well as with regards to work performed in the area of engine mechanics, where CFD, FEM, and MBS are applied.
As a parallel trend, it can be observed that various engine performance characteristics such as e.g. the specific power output and the power-to-weight ratio have undergone an enormous increase, a trend which to some extent counteracts the increase in safety against malfunction and failure.
As yet, due to the constant need for further optimization, mechanical testing and verification processes have not become redundant, and it is assumed that they will remain indispensable for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the need for cost-intensive test bench and vehicle testing is always in conflict with the desire to achieve a leaner and more cost-efficient development process.
In the present paper, a modern, time-optimized mechanical development process will be introduced. In this context, the following investigation methods will be presented and discussed:
Using the low-cycle thermal test as an example, the design of a time-optimized testing program will be presented. Further, the use of statistical analyses for the verification of test scopes will be discussed. Conducting the above mentioned investigations, which are to validate models and calculations and which play an important role in the engine release process, specific expertise is gained which contributes to improving the knowledge base for future computer-aided design activities. Thus it becomes clear that experimental mechanical development and simulation-based design do not compete against each other - in fact, they form a symbiotic relationship.