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What to Know about Testing the Center of Gravity and Inertia

Vehicle inertia measurement is meant to measure the center of gravity and inertia properties of a vehicle. Facilities that perform this test are designed using upgraded automation, enhanced ergonomics, and improved control system. Such an upgrade is made to ensure the current vehicles can easily be retrofitted with brand-new features. Keep reading to learn more about the center of gravity and inertia testing:

Testing Components

Machines are made to measure the mass, center of gravity location, inertia matrix, products of inertia. These are beneficial quantities in terms of studying engine vibrations, torque axis calculation and when locating engine mounts. When developing machines for engines, they can be also used for objects of the same size and weight and smaller objects such as tires, rims, or wheels. Testing facilities extend their services to include arrangements to accommodate small-sized vehicle components, big sized military and commercial vehicles, as well as engines, and passenger vehicles. Gravity and inertia testing for vehicles is available in a range of capacities.

Testing Machine Features

The placement of the object on the test table is one of the feature s of the testing machine. During the test cycle, the object’s orientation will stay the same, decreasing the testing duration to an hour or less than one hour with just a few minutes to hours of setup time as per the object shape’s complexity. Separate CG measurement can be required for other methods for testing inertia along with a few reorientations.

How the Test is Done

The testing machine uses a system that has springs and sensors and pivots to get the moments and inertia properties along with the center of gravity (CG) location. Calculating the object’s mass is done separately on this scale. To get the CG location, moments, and product of inertia, a stable arrangement of pendulum is used.

The machine has built-in sensors that include an inclinometer, a rotary encoder, and a load cell. To track the measurements sensed from these sensors, operators use customized software. Testing software does all kinds of calculations, checks for testing errors, and serves as a guide through the entire test sequence.

As the vehicle is assisted on the air bearing, oscillation is allowed on the defined alignment against the resistance of the spring. Operators need to compute the total oscillation time and calculate the inertia. They measure the gravity center in three different directions with a bit of inclination of the vehicle over some degrees. They do the computations with a load cell.

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