Triaxial semi-trailers are becoming increasingly used worldwide and the infrastructure is constantly changing. For this reason, the test requirements for the wheels of these vehicles need to be adapted. This and other topics relating to wheel testing and validation were discussed by scientists and users from all over the world on 11 November in Darmstadt. In the Fraunhofer Institute for Structural Durability and System Reliability LBF, around 60 specialists from Europe, Asia and the USA met at the UC 12 - Users Conference on Biaxial Fatigue Testing, the twelfth users conference in the series.
The Fraunhofer specialists have been organising this international meeting for scientists, car and commercial vehicle manufacturers and suppliers for the last 24 years. It acts as a forum for discussing in detail new developments in the market for testing technologies and for identifying trends in testing and manufacturing technologies with experts from Europe, the USA and Asia. Today, biaxial wheel testing technology is known and accepted worldwide, and has become increasingly established as an international standard for more safety in vehicle construction. This was also evident among the delegates, whose cross-section has become increasingly international in recent years.
At this year's conference, the exchange of experience and knowledge focussed on wheels and their test requirements for triaxial semi-trailers. In view of the sharp increase in the number of these vehicle trailers internationally, the current loads on their wheels were re-examined and adapted test requirements presented.
The Fraunhofer LBF is considered to be a pioneer in verifying the multiaxial life of vehicle wheels. Scientists at the Institute began operating the first biaxial wheel/hub test rig (ZWARP) in 1982, which at that time was an entirely new device for investigating vehicle wheels under biaxial loads. Patented in 1984 for road vehicles and in 1987 for rail vehicles, it has been subsequently sold under licence to customers. Wheel road simulators of this kind are now used worldwide to accelerate development times in the automotive industry and to test safety components such as wheels and wheel hubs.
A newly created web page from Fraunhofer LBF will soon be available online at www.zwarp.de, where those interested can find more detailed information on biaxial wheel/hub fatigue testing (ZWARP).
Photo: Fraunhofer LBF/Döberl