Automotive Research Center
Automotive Research Center
A U.S. Army Center of Excellence for Modeling & Simulation of Ground Vehicles
Led by the University of Michigan

Development and Laboratory Implementation of an Accelerated Testing Method for Vehicle Systems using Time-Dependent Reliability/Durability Principles

Validation using HMMWV Lower Control Arm FixtureProject began January 2012 and was completed December 2015.

Reliability and durability is of paramount importance in acquisition, maintenance and operation of vehicle systems. Experimental estimation of reliability is extremely difficult due to limited resources to perform many tests, limited available field data, and inability to produce long-duration data to capture performance degradation through the vehicle’s lifecycle. Using simulations instead of tests is usually not practical because of the required high fidelity predictions with long duration simulation runs.

Our goal is to develop an accelerated testing method which combines a small number of short-duration tests and a potentially low-fidelity computational model which is calibrated using test data. The simulation model is run for at most a few minutes at discrete times during the vehicle’s lifecycle. The accelerated testing method has been demonstrated in the TARDEC Physical Simulation laboratory.

The accelerated testing methodology uses realistic loads as opposed to artificially increased loads for the conventional method, and accounts for degradation phenomena which the conventional method ignores. This approach uses a combination of analytical and experimental methods which can reduce the required experimental resources considerably. Lower fidelity computational models can be used since their accuracy is improved through calibration using field data. While the conventional method is exclusively based on laboratory experiments, the accelerated testing method can use data from short-duration field tests.

In 2012, we initiated research in accelerated testing using analytical and experimental efforts based on fundamental principles of time-dependent reliability and model V&V (validation and verification). Our research has produced new developments in the difficult but very important areas of time-dependent reliability and accelerated testing. This project addressed an immediate need at TARDEC in the durability/reliability area of existing and future vehicle platforms with potential applications in condition-based maintenance. We aim to institutionalize all developments at TARDEC’s Physical Simulation Laboratory and make them part of its experimental capabilities. It is planned to implement all time-dependent reliability methods in ANSA for durability and optimization (size, shape, topology) under uncertainty applications of large-scale dynamic systems. ANSA is a finite element pre- and post-processor code with analysis capabilities used world-wide and in TARDEC, and is a product of BETA CAE Systems USA who is our industry quad member.

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Sponsored by U.S. Army CCDC Ground Vehicle Systems Center
Cooperative Agreement W56HZV-19-2-0001

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