Whatever the reason a component is being tested, be it for crash, shock or static loading, a similar palette of skills is required to ensure the tests objectives are satisfied. Designing a test is often challenging, particularly if a static test is being used to represent a dynamic load. In the case of complex components or systems the testing should be treated as a project in its own right.
Fitting the test scope and methods to the capabilities of the service provider, and to time and budget constraints is an important first step. Test documentation should be prepared which clearly sets out the objectives and how it is intended to achieve them. Truly fidelic representation of the intended loadcase will often be impractical, for instance, a 15g load on a complex structure can only be truly re-created by a 15g acceleration, not something that is often practical. The test documentation should describe how the effect of such compromises are to be minimised or mitigated (for instance by sub-structure or coupon tests).
Tests may be monitored by instrumentation to record variables such as strain, deflection and acceleration. The design of the data acquisition setup is ideally done using the FEA models of the structure, this enables the best quality data to be gathered with the minimum instrumentation.
Most complex structures will require a dedicated test fixture in order to apply static loads, the complexity of the fixture is ultimately related to the type of loading and the number of load-cases which it needs to apply.
Engenuity are experienced in providing turn-key test packages for composite structures at various stages of the development process, from conceptual design iterations to pre-delivery sign off test. Most of the design, analysis and data acquisition requirements are serviced by our in-house resources, we can also provide sub-contract manufacture of steel test fixtures. Our expertise in liaising with test service providers and the ability to utilise a number of facilities to best cover the full spectrum of testing, necessary for complex systems, makes Engenuity a first choice in sub-contract test service provision for composite components.
Carbon Fibre Crush Cone impacting a rigid barrier at 10 m/s on a 328 kg sled. Part of the initial benchmark verification tests used by Engenuity in the development of their CZone Technolgoy for predicitng composite impact using Finite Element Analysis (FEA).