Test Bench Performs Door Reliability Analysis

| Environmental Testing

Test bench puts car doors through slamming endurance

Engineers at Applus+ Laboratories have developed an innovative Door Slam test bench for Reliable Analysis (RA) in the automotive industry

The team at Applus+ RA’s Madison Heights facility has been performing life cycle and durability testing and failure analysis on automotive parts for over 20 years, but wanted to offer its clients a unique environmental testing system, which would combine door slam tests with climatic testing, providing them with the most accurate data on door slam durability, taking into account the effects of extreme temperatures.

As a result, a versatile test bench capable of autonomously slamming car doors inside climatic chambers was develed, all whilst sticking to the test parameters of the various automotive manufacturers.

These tests consist of multiple types of open-close cycles under different temperatures. To emulate real life conditions, doors need to be closed from different locations depending on the test phase. Applus+ RA is looking for information about the speed at which the door closes for each cycle, which is used in conjunction with the information derived from visual examinations of the door under test. The test bench would needs to perform the open-close cycles autonomously, and do so regardless of temperature conditions.

Design and Validation

The engineers came up with a system combining electromechanical actuators with an easily-movable mechanical rig. Other key components are a heat/humidity protection system, a fibre-optic speed sensor proven to perform under extreme temperatures, a PC and Control Rack and specifically-designed software to run the OEM-specific test profile, which includes validating performance inside a climatic chamber, at temperatures of -40ºC to +80ºC.

Following lengthy but successful trials, the test bench will now be commissioned in the Applus+ RA facilities.

Jonathan Newell
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