Link Engineering enhances test capabilities

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Seven new brake dynamometers have been installed at Link Engineering Company’s US, China and European test labs

In a project representing US$12.7m, Link Engineering Company has greatly expanded its test capabilities with the addition of new equipment to its labs. The company, which provides brake testing services to vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, has added seven new brake dynamometers in total. That includes the addition of three new Model 3900 NVH brake dynamometers (below) and two new Model 3000 performance brake dynamometers for passenger vehicles, as well as two new Model 6900 commercial vehicle dynamometers (middle). These were distributed to Link’s Dearborn Technical Center in Michigan, USA (bottom); its testing laboratory in Shanghai, China; and its European testing facility near Frankfurt in Germany.

Other capital equipment improvements have also been made to existing equipment including the addition of environmental controls for friction and brake noise investigations, ultra-high-speed sampling rates for brake torque variation, and next-generation in-vehicle data acquisition systems.

“The improvements made to the brake dynamometers in our testing facilities included the addition of load-bearing tailstocks. These were installed so that residual drag can be accurately measured. Reducing brake drag is critical to the brake industry in meeting CAFE standards,” explains Tim Duncan, executive VP of global testing services.

In order to recreate conditions similar to those experienced during driving, environmental conditioning units have also been upgraded or replaced by new units that can be controlled to provide a wider range of temperature and humidity. “A typical unit would have a temperature range of -40°C to 60°C and a humidity range of 15% RH to 95% RH,” Duncan says. “The benefit is that customers can run environmental tests on brake components at any time of the year, eliminating the costs of manufacturing vehicle prototypes and waiting for the environmental conditions required for the test to occur.”

Link also recently obtained certification according to ECE R90, which regulates test protocols and acceptance criteria for the European community. The regulation specifies brake pads and linings are measured for cold performance, speed sensitivity, friction behavior, compressibility, shear and hardness. For discs and drums, the ECE R90 requires testing and measurements for performance, thermal fatigue, high-torque strength, hardness, chemical composition, geometrical characteristics, and dimensional features.

March 17, 2015

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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