Using Wheel Force Transducers with Road Simulators

Road simulators are an effective method of testing the dynamics and durability of a vehicle by reproducing real-world driving conditions while in a controlled, laboratory setting. Engineers use the information collected from the simulations to determine the necessary modifications and changes needed to improve vehicle design. While simulators are an advantageous tool, without an appropriate method of calculating and measuring data, understanding the reaction of a vehicle at the wheel remains arduous. Michigan Scientific Corporation (MSC) has considerable experience designing and manufacturing high-quality Wheel Force Transducers (WFT) that can be used, in conjunction with road simulators, to test vehicles of any shape or size.

Simulating a Road

Imitating the exact road conditions a vehicle could possibly encounter while in use is no easy task. A multitude of different variables such as environment, speed, and weight must all be taken into consideration when properly designing and calibrating road simulators. Simulators can be attached directly to the hub or axle of a vehicle to test forces and moments imparted on the suspension system, or they can be tire-coupled to test how the wheels interact with road conditions. Potholes and rugged terrain are some examples of common conditions that are tested against the integrity of the system. Examining these forces help engineers improve overall safety and durability in a suspension system.

Using Wheel Force Transducers in Testing

LW-2T-100K Heavy Duty Wheel Force Transducer

LW-2T-100K Heavy Duty Wheel Force Transducer

While simulators can replicate various road conditions, they lack the ability to measure the direct input response at the wheel.  Michigan Scientific Wheel Force Transducers are often used to provide feedback for controls on a road simulator. They measure forces and moments acting on a vehicle during use in a laboratory or field testing condition, as well as wheel speed, position, braking force, traction, and tire wear. The data collected from real world testing is used to replicate exact road conditions, which can later be used during laboratory simulation. Replication in testing reduces the risk of damage to the vehicle, saving time and money. The accuracy of the simulation is verified by the transducers.

The Wheel Force Transducers can measure three forces and three moments, along with X and Z accelerations. They are lightweight, easy to use, and backed with nearly twenty years of manufacturing and development experience. With many different models available, Wheel Force Transducers can be used for testing a large range of vehicles, from large highway trucks, to motorcycles and ATVsWheel Force Transducers can even be used to test road simulators themselves.Theycan fit any production wheel size in standard vehicles and operate reliably in almost any environment, from sand and ice, to mud and snow.

Road simulators are only one of many examples of how Michigan Scientific Wheel Force Transducers are helping to make automotive testing fast and easy.  To learn more about how Wheel Force Transducers can save you time, money, and energy in automotive testing, contact an MSC engineer today!