Acceleration testing provides engineers with data on the behavior of materials and equipment when the test items are subjected to acceleration forces (typically measured in terms of g-forces) applied slowly and held steadily for extended periods of time. Acceleration testing specifically avoids creating shock, vibration, or dynamic (resonant) responses in test items.
Detrimental effects from acceleration loads may include the following:
- Structural deflection that interferes with equipment operation.
- Leaks caused by stressed seals.
- Binding or jammed actuators.
- Damaged or broken mounting hardware.
- Pump cavitation.
- Damage to printed circuit boards.
- Inoperable relays or contactors.
- Impeded pressure or flow regulator operation.
- Erratic sensor function.
Typical test applications include aerospace related hardware, such as aircraft landing gear, hydraulics, structural materials, control systems, passenger seats, instruments, avionics, and even toilets. Other test applications are used to validate materials and equipment used in defense systems.
With G-tables and centrifuges ranging from 1 ft (0.3m) to 62 ft (16m) in diameter and weight capacities from a few grams to 7,000 lb (3,175 kg), we offer the most complete acceleration test facilities available in the industry. For example, we can apply 750g (7,350 m/s2) of acceleration force to a test item weighing up to 250 lb (115 kg). Many of our centrifuges are also equipped with adjustable booms to vary testing conditions and/or enclosures to reduce wind loading.
Slip Rings and Swivels
Many acceleration tests require test items to be operational while under load. By necessity, this testing requires a means for connecting the required controls and instrumentation. All of our centrifuges feature electrical slip rings capable of accommodating up to 100 data and control channels (including a few high power connections).
If required, we can also provide swivels to facilitate pneumatic and hydraulic operation of test items. The large variety of possible slip ring and swivel configurations empowers test engineers with a generous degree of flexibility to power, manipulate, monitor, and operate test items.
Types of Tests
The following are examples of the types of testing that NTS performs:
- Acceleration Cycling — Tests that involve repeated changing between two or more applied acceleration forces.
- Centrifuge Acceleration— Tests that apply acceleration forces up to 1,500g.
- Multi-Axis Acceleration Testing — Testing that involves any combination of linear and rotational acceleration forces applied in multiple directions.
- Payload Analysis— Satellites and space probes require testing to ensure that they can withstand the acceleration forces and vibrations anticipated during their launches.
- Thrust Application Testing — Testing involving the application of thrust loads in excess of 70,000 lb (31,000 kg).
- MIL-STD-202— This standard creates a uniformed method for testing and validating electronic and electrical components to determine the extent to which components are able to resist the destructive effects of conditions and elements in military environments, electrical tests, and physical tests. The methods of this test include specifying suitable conditions in the testing lab that emulate the actual conditions in the field and obtaining results.
- RTCA DO-160—“Environmental Conditions and Test Procedures for Airborne Equipment” is the most widely used requirement specifying environmental test criteria for avionics hardware.
If you want to learn more about the types of acceleration testing capabilities that we offer, request your free quote today!