Many vehicle systems and components experience complex in-service loading conditions making it difficult for a test engineer to design an equivalent block cycle or constant amplitude durability test.

A real-time simulation testing procedure starts by recording transducer responses off an instrumented vehicle at a proving ground over various road surfaces. This 'raw' data is then analyzed and edited so that only the damaging portions of the road events are retained to create an edited drive file.

The inputs on the drive file are then replicated on the test equipment to closely match the responses collected from the proving ground and repeated according to customer usage profiles in order to simulate accumulated proving ground miles.

The end result is an accurate and repeatable test performed in a controlled environment over a significantly short amount of time that allows for quicker product decisions.

Our real-time simulation testing range includes:

Multi-axis shake tables (MAST)

The real-time simulation testing of components and systems is provided using a Multi-Axis Shake Table (MAST) with up to 6 degrees of freedom - vertical, lateral, longitudinal, roll pitch and yaw. Some of our MAST systems are installed in environmental and quiet chambers to provide better real-world conditions and evaluations.

  • Table dimensions up to 6 x 8 ft.
  • Control frequency bandwidth DC to 50 Hz
  • Environmental capable -40° to 250° F
  • Near infra-red sunloading
  • Sound treatment for BSR evaluations

Steering simulation

Element has developed a real-time simulation testing procedure to be used in the evaluation of steering components and systems. This system is unique in that it allows for a rotational input at the steering wheel in addition to 4 degrees of input at each spindle.

Exhaust system simulation

Element was the first company to combine high temperature and real-time simulation testing to create a single laboratory test to evaluate an entire exhaust system. Temperatures up to 3,000 F at flow rates up to 300 CFM over a range of back pressures allow thermal environment duplication of heat-affected components.

Corner module - half vehicle simulation

Corner module and half car simulation tests are an alternative to full vehicle simulation when preliminary results are required early in the development process.

Typical test applications

  • Durability
  • Fatigue
  • Buzz, squeak and rattle