The Industrial Physics Guide to Automotive Testing
When it comes to the automotive industry, safety is always going to be a key concern. Manufacturers need to know that their vehicles are safe, reliable, profitable and as environmentally friendly as possible – and a complete and thorough testing process is an essential part of getting any new vehicle on the road.
From testing the integrity of engine components to checking how scratch resistant a new paint is, there are a huge number of test and inspect elements to consider – that’s why we’ve put together our ultimate guide to automotive testing.
Why and when we test
Testing isn’t only for the R&D phase, any time you want to switch out one material for a another or you’d like to trial a new, cost-saving design, it’s essential to know exactly how it’s going to behave once out on the road.
Newer, more energy-efficient vehicles are constantly in development and that means that there’s a continuous demand for innovation in both materials and construction. We’re here to support automotive engineers and manufacturers at every stage of the design and production process.
Our testing solutions are also ideals for system and module suppliers, who’re providing automotive manufacturers with anything from Sat Nav systems to car seats. Our drilled-down testing solutions can ensure that components are suitable for their intended purpose at every stage.
Just a few of our testing solutions include:
Car body & chassis testing
Car bodies are changing and adapting to make use of new metallic materials that are more lightweight. This drives the need for testing solutions that can help manufacturers find the sweet spot between weight and durability, balancing safety, speed, and production cost. Tensile testing, hardness testing and compression testing are essential for determining how sheet steels and composite metals behave in specific circumstances.
Measuring bumper impact and stiffness as well door buckling is absolutely essential. Equally important are ways to test everything from steering column linkages to wheel rims – when it comes to the automotive industry, no part can be left to chance.
The relatively short lifespan of a tire compared to a vehicle means they are in high demand. Needed for both new vehicles and as replacements, tires are a commodity that needs to be very cost-efficient as well as adhering to all safety standards.
Traditionally, tires are made from rubber, but newer compositions include chemical compounds called elastomer polymers, which are elastic, rubber-like substances. Rubber testing solutions, from tension to compression, can show how synthetic, natural or composite rubber-like substances might behave on the road.
Not only do vehicles need to meet stringent safety measures, they need to look good while doing it. A car exterior that chips or peels in adverse weather conditions is in big trouble, that’s where extensive coatings testing can help.
Some geographical locations can put more strain on a car’s exteriors than other, for example, proximity to the sea increases the risk of rust. Coating testing includes everything from ensuring that appearance and gloss levels are right to how well coatings withstand corrosion, salt spray and abrasion. For example, our Salt Spray Cabinet can simulate the kind of wear and tear a car may meet on the road. Discover more in our extensive range of coating testing solutions.
Car interiors take a huge amount of work too. From safety features like seat belts and airbags to aesthetic considerations such as seat coverings, there are many different elements to balance. We can help with everything from tensile tests for seat belts to testing the firmness and durability of car seats and their coverings.
As electric cars grow in popularity and more and more cars have hybrid designs, the electric element of automotive design has come to the fore. Testing everything from reactions to humidity to wire tensile tests or the efficiency of insulation is essential to know that complex electrical systems will behave the way they should once a car is off the production line.
Popular automotive testing solutions
Just a few of our highlighted automotive testing solutions include:
UTMs can offer a powerful tool for the automotive industry, offering several applications and testing solutions in one machine. For example, the Universal Materials Tester from our specialist brand Testing Machines Inc can be programmed with 100 different test methods.
Our Humidity Cabinet and Salt Fog Condenser Box allow you to test how components will behave in the kind of conditions they are likely to encounter, helping you test for longevity and corrosion. While our pendulum or falling weight impact testers can help determine exactly how vehicle components will behave on impact.
Automotive testing expertise you can trust
We’re no mere passengers when it comes to automotive testing. In fact, we’ve been at the forefront of the field for more than 50 years. From hardness testing of your main components to checks for all of the finishing touches, Industrial Physics has you covered.
Our expertise in every stage of the design, manufacture and ongoing maintenance of vehicles ensures we’re able to help you created joined-up testing solutions that avoid unnecessary repetition while covering all of the essentials. Find out more by having a look at some of our highlighted automotive testing solutions.