Tuning and Emulation of Mechanical Characteristics - Tunable Mounts and a Mechanical Hardware-in-the-Loop Approach for More Efficient Research and Testing
Numerical simulations offer a wide range of benefits, therefore they are widely used in research and development. One of the biggest benefits is the possibility of automated parameter variation. This allow testing different scenarios in a very short period of time. Nevertheless, physical experiments in the laboratory or on a test rig are still necessary and will still be necessary in the future. The physical experiments offer benefits e.g. for very complex and/or nonlinear systems and are needed for the validation of numerical models. Fraunhofer LBF has developed hardware solutions to bring the benefit of rapid and automated parameter variation to experimental environments. These solutions allow the tuning and emulation of the mechanical properties, like stiffness, damping and eigenfrequencies of structures. The work presents two approaches: First a stiffness tunable mount, which has been used in laboratory tests in the field of semi-active load path redistribution. It allowed the researcher to test the semi-active system under different mechanical boundary conditions in a short period of time. Second, a mechanical Hardware-in-the-loop (mHIL) approach for the NVH development of vehicles components is presented. Here a mHIL-system is used to emulate the mechanical characteristics of a vehicle's body in white in a wide frequency range. This allows the experimental NVH optimization of vehicle components under realistic boundary conditions, without actually needing a (prototype) body in white.