Since wheels and hubs are relevant for operational safety, these parts must not fail causing an accident. Traditionally the life testing of the vehicle as well as its major components was performed on the road. Since long term testing cannot be used within the vehicle development process – waiting months and months to get meaningful results – the life cycle events have to be condensed significantly.
Therefore all car manufacturer developed so-called proving grounds and accelerated test strategies giving the capability to shorten the time for durability testing. While road testing relies on the availability of complete vehicles these tests are pretty costly.
Consequently the enhancements in building and controlling multiaxial test rig hardware, that started in the 1960’s, were used to develop strategies for accelerated life testing by laboratory road simulation. Today the lab based durability approval is performed for many sub-systems and will be even more important in the future because there are so many platform derivatives as well as niche products which have to be developed within an extreme short time scale.
Regarding the complex requirements on functions and save life time the wheel related components are in the main focus of LBF since many years.