AP Braking Ltd., Warwickshire, U.K., has expanded and upgraded its research and development facilities with the installation of a specially modified Carbolite thermal chamber suitable for long-term test programs involving flammable liquids.
From Carbolite, in Hope Valley, U.K., and Watertown, Wis., the
new equipment is an upgraded version of an existing chamber used by the company
for several years. It is designed to accept rigs for thermal-stroking tests on components
such as brake cylinders and calipers. These components can incorporate a number
of metals and plastics as well as various fluids and greases.
Thermal-stroking tests are carried out by attaching components
to jigs fixed inside the chambers with hydraulic piping passing through the oven
walls to external actuators. Up to four components can be tested at one time. A
typical Society of Automotive Engineers test requires brake cylinders to be subjected
to 1,000 strokes per hour for 70 hours at a temperature of 248°F (120°C) to simulate
conditions in an engine compartment.
The chamber has a maximum temperature of 392°F (200°C) and can
be programmed to provide temperature cycling if required. It is integrated with
the test rigs, so the chamber automatically switches off if a fault develops. An
explosion-relief panel also is fitted.
Should a component fail, surfaces that could come into contact
with flammable liquids are below their autoignition temperature, and elements are
positioned away from flammable vapors. The chambers also are sealed to prevent liquid
escaping. Internal lighting has been fitted so that staff can see clearly while
they are setting up equipment.
Thermal Rig Puts Brake Systems to the Test
November 19, 2010