Multi-axis multi-station systems for durability testing of automotive ball joints
Servotest has extensive experience in the design and manufacture of bespoke testing systems used to provide a repeatable laboratory simulation of the loading experienced by automotive ball joints throughout their service life.
Automotive ball joints are typically expected to last the lifetime of the vehicle they are fitted to. Multi-axis motion combined with complex loading patterns resulting from both continuous and transient road-load data are just two of the challenges faced by the designers of these components. Frequently these joints are also subjected to high- & low-temperature thermal loading as well as other challenging environmental conditions.
Servotest has developed a number of configurations of multi-axis ball joint test rigs to meet the varied needs of the ball joint testing community. Depending upon the size of the ball joint to be tested these can be either single- or multi-station test rigs.
The most common configuration is a dual-station three-axis rig which combines vertical and horizontal loading with ball joint rotation and rocking motions. Variations on this design include a single-station designs for larger joints, incorporation of a thermal chamber for temperature cycling and single-axis-only lateral loading.
An alternative heavy-duty configuration offers simultaneous independent three-axis loading combined with both rocking and rotation for a pair of ball-joint specimens. This configuration also provides greater access for thermal conditioning if required.
Both of the above configurations are able to take advantage of many of the powerful features of the Servotest Pulsar multi-channel digital servo-control system. These include options for running either block-cycle loading or time-history road-load data by utilising the power of the EzFlow test sequencing software and ICS control/analysis capability.