Physical testing is a vital part of the COLLINS LIMITED engineering development process. It can be used as a final sign-off for safety critical components or assemblies and is increasingly used as a validation tool for digital simulation as this sphere of engineering grows. We use physical test results to validate simulation models to give our design team greater confidence in getting the job right at the first iteration.
Within testing, we conduct an analysis to determine the external forces and the local environment of the part of system under test. This is followed by test rig design, which encompasses data acquisition and analysis requirements. COLLINS LIMITED can review your timing plans or develop them in conjunction with the tests to be conducted.
A rigorous testing process needs a very good understanding of the loads a system will be subjected to in service. It is beneficial to isolate load sources and understand how a combination of these worst-case loads may add together destructively on the part or system. This problem is tackled constantly in motorsport and our experience allows us to study your system and with high confidence establish the worst-case loads to test for.
This understanding of load sources on the part, be they mechanical, thermal or environmental, allows us to suggest meaningful safety factors that account for more of the inevitable unexpected loads a system will see.
- Understand your problem case
- Develop load cases from experimental and simulation data
- Suggest appropriate safety factors
With a sound understanding of the load sources and their nature, we have experience developing test rigs that will apply those loads and make measurement of any properties such as temperature, deflection or strain. With our links to industry, we can orchestrate and develop the test rigs required to test your parts to proof load, service load or even to failure.
- Application of real-world loads in controlled, repeatable manner
- Application of standardised forces, energies, pressures or temperatures
- Uniaxial tensile testing
- Custom test rigs for non-standard load cases
- Destructive and proof testing
- Non-destructive and hardness testing
The company has experience setting out the design and development plans and strategies for long term development projects. We can work with you to find the most efficient and effective ways of performing testing for you, developing test rigs and test strategy. We can build a test program and organise test lab bookings to minimise turnaround time and costs.
- Program planning
- Develop testing strategy
- Run list development
- Test house communication and booking
- Test preparation, support and management
During any testing it is critical to accurately record all vital and auxiliary test parameters, from logging and verifying the applied loads to measuring the test quantities accurately. When not provided in our test lab network, COLLINS LIMITED can develop a data acquisition system to meet your needs.
Data acquisition requires awareness and mitigation of many error sources in data logging. From high-frequency ringing, electrical noise, incorrect calibration or data logging rate or quality, these factors can accumulate and reduce the value of conducting an expensive or complex test. We will suggest or select signal conditioners, voltage supplies and logging rates to ensure data acquisition is maximised.
We have experience fitting and developing logging solutions for the following transducers:
- Strain gauges for material deflection
- Linear and rotary potentiometers for large motion measurement
- Linear voltage displacement transducers (LVDTs) for high precision displacement measurement
- Thermocouples for direct temperature measurement
- Pressure transducers for aerodynamic and hydraulic uses
- Linear and angular accelerometers
- Optical and hall-effect speed sensors
This list can be extended where the need where required with specialist sensors.
Once a physical test has been completed, it is important to maximise the value of the measured test results. The data can be manipulated in to meaningful coefficients or metrics and further enhanced with math channels. We can help you conceptualise, understand and make best use of the measured test results.
- Data mining
- Math channel development
- Metric development, combining raw data into informative values
- Parameterisation and validation of simulation data