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Data Physics: Vibration testing in the PHEV era

Data Physics offers its new smarter, high performance SignalForce Electrodynamic Shaker



As consumer trends and government regulations drive automotive manufacturers towards electric and hybrid vehicles, the development of these vehicles is driving manufacturers to larger and more efficient vibration test systems, which are used to ensure comfort, reliability and durability in the new generation of vehicles.

Electric and hybrid vehicles contain new heavier components that were not previously used such as battery packs, electric motors and high voltage cable sets. Vehicle frames themselves are stronger and heavier around the areas where heavy components are located. Manufacturers are discovering that vibration test systems that are currently in use are not necessarily capable of driving the new test loads to required acceleration levels. Apart from increase in the weight of test articles, acceleration test levels are increasing too, driven by a desire for improved safety and longer operational life, especially in the case of batteries.

To meet the stringent test requirements, what is required is not just a larger force capacity electrodynamic shaker but also a smarter vibration controller that can produce optimum performance from the shaker and even speed up the business of testing. For example, producing a classical half sine shock pulse of high peak acceleration lasting tens of milliseconds will not only call for a large specific force dependent on the test mass but also drive the shaker towards its displacement limits and call for velocities close to what it is capable of. An intelligent algorithm used by the vibration controller will produce pre-pulse and post-pulse accelerations that extract the best possible acceleration shock waveform output from the shaker while containing the resulting motion within its displacement and vibration limits.

Similarly, recent advances in sine testing have enabled vibration controllers to drive multiple sinusoidal waveforms simultaneously to reduce the time to perform swept sine tests. This new multi-frequency sine control technology will help manufacturers to dramatically shorten the duration of high fatigue sine testing. Multi frequency sine testing makes use of the larger force capacity of the shaker to bring about this efficiency in test time.

In parallel with the automotive industry, aerospace and defense testing standards are asking for higher performance from the shaker. MIL-STD 810 drives much of the vibration testing because these standards are not only used in military and defense applications but also are adapted by industry in general, including automotive industry. The most recent revision, MIL-STD 810G calls for random tests that require 3in displacement for high level random testing. In automotive applications, this higher displacement capability can be put to good use by testing for shock at higher acceleration levels and producing random waveforms with high and low frequency content.

Moving from the current shakers to a new generation of high force shakers capable of 3in displacement will enable automotive users to perform higher acceleration level shock tests and meet demanding low frequency random test requirements. Combining such a shaker with a new generation vibration controller will also reduce the time to perform swept sine tests contributing to a higher level of success for the test engineer.

Data Physics SignalForce shakers are available from 9kN to 53kN in the air cooled range and from 80kN to 220kN as water cooled shakers. Except for the very small and the very large, most of the shakers are available with 3in displacement. SignalStar controllers offer the new multi-frequency sine control method and optimization of shock pulses for extracting the highest acceleration within the shaker displacement and velocity limits.

Data Physics Corporation
Tel: +1 408 437 0100;


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