Development of Road to Lab Steering Test Rig (ROLAST) 2017-26-0315
The Steering system is one of the most safety critical systems in an automobile. With time the durability, reliability and the fine-tuning of the parameters involved in this subsystem have increased along with the competitiveness of the market. In a competitive market, accelerated testing is the key to shorter development cycles. It is observed that the majority of component manufacturers have a preference on vehicle level testing to achieve their development goals. The vehicle level trials are time consuming and lack the control and repeat-ability of a laboratory environment. This paper describes the development of a steering test rig designed to simulate the disturbances experienced on road within a controlled laboratory environment. The five axis steering rig would allow simulation of individual road wheel displacement along with steering wheel angle input and lateral steering rack displacements. The rig also is designed to be adaptable to a range of vehicle categories. The rig can be a solution which bridges the gap between the road and the lab.
This rig is also a step forward in terms of fidelity of the simulation as it includes individual road wheel disturbances which are a major contributor to rack and pinion wear. Also this would allow component manufacturers to gain confidence on each individual component starting from the steering wheel till the road wheel, as the rig can also accommodate the out board wheel assembly components which would be attached to the road wheel.