The new Flat-Trac Ride Comfort Roadway comprises a lab-based, four-post system with moving belts at each vehicle corner for performing ride comfort evaluation, benchmarking and tuning.
Real-time controller feedback loops enable highly accurate replication of real-world driving conditions via time history playout or synthetic (programmed) inputs.
Hydraulic actuators apply ±50 mm of vertical displacement to tires at accelerations up to 20g and frequencies up to 50 Hz; and Flat-Trac moving belts allow the vehicle to run at speeds up to 180 kph.
Introducing the New Flat-Trac® Ride Comfort RoadwayThe automotive industry’s growing emphasis on vehicle ride comfort is driven by several factors. The global focus on increased fuel efficiency and reduced emissions has led to quieter cabins, making noise and vibration much more noticeable to passengers. The increasing adoption of active and semi-active suspensions has made vehicle benchmarking and tuning more complex and time intensive. Also, an industry-wide trend toward platform consolidation means that each vehicle platform must be specifically tuned and optimized for many individual regional markets.
To help manufacturers better address requirements for more demanding ride comfort evaluation, MTS is expanding its diverse portfolio of flat-belt roadways to include the new Flat-Trac Ride Comfort Roadway.
This new system comprises a lab-based, four-post system with moving belts at each vehicle corner, to provide far more realistic simulation than conventional four posters and an economical alternative to conventional track testing. Engineered to deliver high-fidelity ride comfort simulation, it provides test engineers an accurate and repeatable means of performing directly observable full-vehicle vibration analysis, benchmarking, suspension tuning and validation. It also enables the fast and efficient acquisition of meaningful component, subsystem and full-vehicle performance data earlier in the development cycle, allowing engineers to run more iterations in the lab and reserve the test track for final validation.
The Flat-Trac Ride Comfort Roadway enables testing to be performed with a vehicle’s engine turned on or off, driving in gear or towing in neutral, or with wheel hubs attached or detached. This permits isolation and analysis of vibration transmissibility from sources throughout a vehicle, including suspensions, tires and powertrains. The roadway system also allows the isolation of differential vibration by varying the speeds of individual flat belts to simulate cornering.
Advanced benchmarking and tuning of active and semi-active suspensions are made possible with the system’s four moving belts, which allow spinning tires to provide real vehicle feedback to electronic control units (ECUs). Modification of road profiles enables the roadway system to be used for conducting evaluations of new suspension designs while they are still in the model stage. Additional applications for the system include basic rolling loss and fuel economy studies.
The new roadway system includes MTS hydraulic linear actuation, patented Flat-Trac moving belt technology, MTS digital controls and MTS TestSuite™ software. The hydraulic actuators apply ±50 mm of vertical displacement to vehicle tires at accelerations up to 20g and frequencies up to 50 Hz. Flat-Trac moving belts allow the vehicle to run at speeds up to 180 kph, ensuring correct stiffness at each tire. Real-time controller feedback loops enable highly accurate replication of real-world driving conditions via time history playout or synthetic (programmed) inputs. In addition, the system can integrate both human and autopilot drivers, and an automated track and wheelbase positioning system accommodates a wide variety of vehicle geometries and facilitates rapid test throughput.
The new roadway system builds on the existing family of MTS Flat-Trac roadways, which includes the Flat-Trac Dynamic Roadway and the Flat-Trac Handling Roadway. This roadway family, in turn, belongs to an even larger portfolio of MTS Flat-Trac solutions, which employs patented flat-belt technology to address applications ranging from tire force and moment testing to aerodynamic simulation. All of these solutions are backed by MTS’ global service and support organization, which provides local, responsive service, advanced test consulting and complex systems integration expertise.
Overall, the new Flat-Trac Ride Comfort Roadway is designed to bring affordable, high fidelity testing into the test lab, providing a balanced, practical and efficient solution for ride comfort evaluation, benchmarking and tuning. It will help test engineers meet increasingly complex ride comfort evaluation demands, accelerate lab-based testing, and reduce reliance on prototypes and expensive proving ground testing.
>> CONTACT MTS
>> SIGN UP TO RECEIVE OTHER VERSIONS OF FORCE & MOTION