Material Testing and Analysis
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The Keweenaw Research Center has developed an unparalleled reputation in the field of elastomeric compounds and composites research. KRC collaborates closely with the military as well as the automotive and marine industries. With the addition of our clean room, KRC has an isolated testing area for all materials research and testing. MTS 831.50 and 810 test machines, a six station creep machine, and a number of other materials testing equipment enable a broad range of mechanical testing. Scanning electron microscopes and X-ray diffraction make metalography and material characterization possible. Combined with other assets of KRC such as computer based modeling and analysis, vehicle testing and evaluation and the University, KRC offers extensive and encompassing testing and analysis of all materials.
Elastomeric Mount Characterization
KRC leads the industry in elastomeric mount characterization. KRC has worked together with MTS Corporation to enhance the capability of its MTS 831.50 Elastomer Test Machine to allow mount elements to be characterized using several different techniques. Typical mount characterization is performed using a stepped sine approach at each frequency with a specified displacement to estimate the dynamic stiffness and damping. As an internal research topic, KRC is exploring a time domain approach for a more accurate characterization of elastomeric mounts. This new approach, Time History Characterization, excites the mount simultaneously with all the actual frequencies and amplitudes seen by the mount in operation. The first step in this process is to measure the relative displacement across the mount while it is in operation. This relative displacement time history is then "played back" through the MTS 831.50 to excite the mount, and the displacements and forces generated by the mount are simultaneously measured. These forces and displacements are then used in several different algorithms to estimate the dynamic stiffness of the mounts.
KRC is also researching changes in the dynamic properties of elastomeric mounts undergoing both natural aging (through in-vehicle operation) and artifical aging. This study seeks to understand how much, and in what manner, elastomeric elements degrade with time and environmental conditions, and how this affects their NVH performance. Understanding the changes and failure modes of aged mounts will improve new mount designs, reducing the number of aging related mount failures.
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