World’s most advanced tire testing system operational
= February 22, 2013 3:13PM
MTS Systems Corporation, a leading global supplier of high-performance test systems and position sensors, announced the world’s most advanced tire testing system is now fully operational at the National Tire Research Center (NTRC) in Alton, Va. The Flat-Trac LTRe Tire Testing System is unique in its ability to accurately apply complex, real-world driving maneuvers to passenger vehicle, light truck and even racing car tires in a controlled, repeatable laboratory setting. Data generated by these tests are used by original equipment manufacturers and tire manufacturers to optimize vehicle safety and performance.
“The Flat-Trac LTRe delivers the high-power density and performance bandwidth required to test a very wide range of tires up to and beyond their physical limits,” said Rich Baker, general manager of MTS Test. “Its ability to replicate real-world maneuvers with high fidelity represents a real step forward in tire testing. Not only does it enable that thousands of simulations can be run in the same amount of time it takes to complete a single test on a track, it also paves the way for new test methodologies such as hybrid simulation, which combines the test system with a computer model to evaluate a tire’s interaction with other vehicle components and subsystems.”
Designed to meet demanding NTRC specifications, the Flat-Trac LTRe is capable of simulating a wide variety of operating conditions and driving events. For example, it is the first laboratory-based test system capable of replicating maneuvers required by U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 126. This standard requires that all new cars and trucks sold in the United States weighing less than 10,000 pounds have an electronic stability control (ESC) system capable of handling a complex j-turn maneuver (rapid 270-degree counterclockwise steer input followed by 540-degree clockwise overcorrection).
Regarding the implications of the new system’s capabilities, Frank Della Pia, NTRC executive director, said, “We’re creating a whole new genre of testing. There will not be a peer facility for the NTRC. When you add up all the capabilities the NTRC has to offer, it’s going to be a transformational leap in tire technology.”
“Tires play a critical role in overall vehicle performance, safety and energy efficiency. The revolutionary MTS Flat-Trac test system at NTRC will enable OEMs and tire manufacturers to more effectively develop the safer, higher-performing vehicles the world demands,” said Jeffrey Graves, MTS president and CEO. “We’re confident that the result of our collaboration with NTRC will be a lasting positive.”
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