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Accelerated Life Cycle Testing

NATC can help reduce the development time of a vehicle and still provide real-world testing. Drawing on experience in durability and road profiling, NATC further developed and derived a mathematical accelerated life cycle testing approach for a U.S. Air Force nuclear transport vehicle. Since then, we have validated this approach through application to numerous commercial and military vehicles ranging from a 3,000-pound 4x4 vehicle to a 135,000-pound vehicle.

Each accelerated test design is tailored to the vehicle's anticipated service environment. Representative road-induced dynamic load conditions are then produced at acceleration factors from 3:1 to 100:1. A 100:1 acceleration factor means that every mile in NATC's accelerated test environment equates to the same level of dynamic input (fatigue inducing loads) as 100 miles in the service environment.

NATC combines these loads with environmental loads to more accurately simulate a system's service life. Interaction between the effects of corrosion, temperature, humidity, rain, solar radiation, and road-induced dynamic loads is often synergistic.

Test parameters can include any mix of paved road, unpaved road, cross country, and severe cross country use. Additionally, driving cycles can be interspersed with environmental test chamber cycles at predetermined intervals. NATC has the facilities and experience to duplicate service life failures in a short time.

NATC constructed Power Hop Hill to meet severe use testing demands.

Length: 260 feet
32% smooth grade road (overall length of grade is 467 feet)
Width: 12 feet with 12 foot shoulders on each side
Grade: 32%
Nominal Concrete Depth: 6 inches

The series of roughness events that make up Power Hop Hill are designed to keep a vehicle in resonance as it climbs the grade. The combined interaction of the grade and road roughness provide high dynamic loading into the powertrain, suspension and body.


Nevada Automotive Test Center
a division of Hodges Transportation, Inc.
Post Office Box 234, Carson City, Nevada 89702

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