Not just an afterthought: Automotive component testing is a fundamental part of Pailton Engineering
Before a component, assembly or steering system can be fitted to a vehicle, you need to know that it is fit for purpose. It is therefore important that each and every batch is thoroughly and rigorously tested to make sure it is up to the job – whatever the application conditions.
The testing of steering systems is primarily about replicating as near to the same conditions that would be encountered in the real-world application. Theoretical testing using calculations is a good start, but nothing gets closer to reality than physical testing.
Our Midlands-based test laboratory is an important facility in the testing of steering components and assemblies to international standards. Our machinery and rigorous testing processes not only check that a component is fit for purpose, but also assist customers in their development programmes, saving time, labour, expense and preventing defects.
Test programmes can be tailored to specific customer requirements, or to our own internal quality control and safety standards. Whichever testing route you take, the parts are tested to their fatigue limits and validated against the original specification and real-life requirements.
Pailton Engineering’s testing facility in combination with our design and engineering experience, ensure that only the highest quality products are manufactured at our facilities.
Types of Testing
One of the most important parameters to test is the maximum load of steering systems for accelerated durability testing. With this information we can observe how much force a part can endure, in both tensile and compression, before a failure occurs. At Pailton Engineering, we have different rigs to test a range of force applications, our highest being ±400kN, which is capable of applying static and dynamic loads.
Moreover, with enough information from our customers, we are able to compile a multitude of loads at their respective frequencies and cycles as part of a block testing programme. This programme effectively mirrors the real-life data that is gathered from the vehicle. It's here that we can accurately assess the true fatigue life of the part.
With a variety of loads and frequencies in place, it is also important to measure the number of cycles that the parts can endure over time. A typical test at Pailton Engineering can perform 1,000,000 cycles in only one week. That's enough to replicate infinite life for a part on a vehicle. By obtaining this figure, you can determine the part’s lifecycle management as part of ongoing maintenance.
Joining our testing programmes, maximum static torque test equipment is used to test the strength of ball joints, tubes or welding and static fatigue testing machines are used for accelerated tests of assemblies or individual features.
Torsional fatigue and wear rigs test wear on bearings in universal joints, intermediate shafts and other moving parts, while using various combinations of splines, torque, cycles and temperatures.
Specific vehicle environmental test rigs can replicate environmental conditions that are experienced in application, subjecting components to salt and grit solutions via spray or submersion, while having the option of rotary movement and any varying temperature requests.
Testing at a glance
Our advanced testing facilities are purpose-built to meet our own exacting standards, so we are confident of achieving a high success rate. These tests help to ensure that only high-quality products leave our factory:
- Accelerated durability testing. Typically, this test can simulate 500,000 miles of driving in a few days
- Tensile load testing such as cycles to failure and maximum load
- Maximum torque testing is used to test the strength of joints or welding.
- Static fatigue testing for accelerated testing of connections
- Rotary testing, where machines will check wear on bearings, sliding shafts and other moving parts, while simultaneously being sprayed with salt and grit solutions.
- Column rig testing for clamp endurance, transverse endurance and axial fatigue
- Strain gauging
- Vibration testing
- Environmental testing, including salt spray to ASTM B117, temperature cycling and humidity cycling
- Flammability testing
- Thermal durability testing
Investing in the latest technologies
By investing in the latest technologies, our engineers can carry out extensive testing to ensure that each steering system part is to the highest quality.
We regularly train our employees in the latest test machines, methods and procedures and stay up to date with industry regulations and requirements.
Pailton Engineering is a market leader in the design, manufacture and supply of high-quality steering solutions to commercial vehicle, bus and coach and military vehicle manufacturers around the world.
For more information about our steering systems, components and assemblies, please take a look at our quality, manufacturing or product pages. For more information To discover more about our testing services and how we can help you, please contact us.