High-Speed Testing of Lightweight Materials for the Automotive Industry

The Institute of Automotive Lightweight Design (LiA) in the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Paderborn University in Germany develops lightweight construction concepts for the automotive industry. For validation of new material concepts and simulation models, researchers at LiA use a HTM 8020 servohydraulic high-speed testing machine from ZwickRoell.

Limited natural resources and the need to reduce emissions require a new way of thinking in the automotive industry. Lightweight construction concepts using high-strength steels and lightweight construction materials such as aluminum and fiber-reinforced plastics contribute to the reduction of fuel consumption and the ability to comply with emission guidelines. For the optimization and validation of material concepts and material models LiA performs quasi-static, cyclic and highly dynamic test series. For tensile, ductility and compression tests at different temperatures and high test speeds, the institute uses the HTM 8020 testing machine. With this machine, for example the strain-rate-dependent material behavior can be tested with a maximum nominal force of 80 kN and a test speed of up to 20 m/s. LiA decided on this testing machine because the HTM 8020 provides the highest level of flexibility, while at the same time allowing for the integration of optical measuring systems such as a 3D high-speed camera and a high-speed thermal imaging system.

Tailored to the respective test, the required equipment can be mounted in the test area of the HTM 8020, and tests can be performed at temperatures ranging from -70 °C to 350 °C. The optical measuring systems ensure a non-contact and simultaneous measurement of the strain and temperature field on the specimen surface, which presents an added value for later comparison with the numerical simulation. A safety housing and the hydraulic safety circuit guarantee protection of operator personnel during high-speed tests.

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