Piedrafita and Moog develop test rig for 70-ton vehicles

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A high-performance test system has been delivered by Moog Inc., a maker of high-performance motion control systems, to Piedrafita Systems, which it is using to design vehicle suspensions.

The Spain-based Piedrafita Systems is using Moog’s test rig – which was installed in July 2023 – for an SRB Project that aims to develop a revolutionary hydropneumatics rotary suspension for armoured vehicles. The SRB project was launched through a grant from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.

The catalyst for the new test system was Piedrafita’s desire for technology that could deliver forces up to 500kN at a speed of 8m/s, and up to 200Hz. Piedrafita asked Moog, with which it collaborated in 2012, to design a fatigue test bench for developing a shock absorber. The previous fatigue test bench Moog designed in 2012 delivered up to 80kN at 4.4m/s velocity.

“Piedrafita asked if this new system was feasible,” said Juan Carlos Molinero, project manager and engineering leader for simulation and test at Moog. “After our study and performance tests, we again collaborated with Piedrafita to develop a concept that could test an armored vehicle’s suspension.”

The new test bench simulates the passage of an armored vehicle’s tracks over undulating terrain. This level of vibration is essential for evaluating the resistance and performance of shock absorbers as well as suspension systems in combat.

“Working with Piedrafita, our engineers designed the new test bench with a high-performance controller and customized actuators reproducing vibration up to 100g,” added Ian Whiting, chief engineer for Moog. “It’s an example of how we innovate with our customers to design and manufacture the most advanced motion control systems for incredibly demanding applications.”

The test system includes a Moog Test Controller, two hydraulic actuators with Moog Digital Servo Valves, an HPU with Moog Digital Pumps and a power cabinet, and an accumulator bench with the required piping. As part of the design and installation, Piedrafita asked Moog to select and size the new test system’s respective components. Along with its commissioning, Moog trained Piedrafita to operate the system.

“Our new test system is capable of carrying out tests for 70-ton tracked vehicles, with a weight of around 5.5-tons per wheel,” said Vanesa Recio, head of communication and marketing for Piedrafita. “Our engineers can test wheel stations under very demanding profiles for main battle tanks such as the Abrams, Challenger, Leclerc and Leopard.

“Manufacturers such as General Dynamics and KNDS can also test their vehicles’ suspension on our new test system.”

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Izzy joined UKi Media & Events in October 2023. She has worked in publishing and digital media since graduating with a BA in English literature from the University of Birmingham. She is currently web editor across the automotive magazines, updating our audiences with the latest news in the transportation and automotive sector, providing expert insight into essential industry topics.

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