Automotive vehicle testing is a heavily regulated industry and all tests must comply with international standards. Car manufacturers, automotive testing houses and component manufactures use chassis dynamometers to simulate driving conditions in a controlled environment. It is essential that during the test the vehicle is held securely and more importantly does not influence the test results in anyway.
The most common type of vehicle restraint which has been used for many years are straps which are fitted to various parts of the vehicle. These are elastic, allowing the vehicle to move off the crown of the roll, and can inadvertently apply a downward force on the test vehicle. They can break under extreme conditions, when they are most needed. It is also possible for them to melt if positioned too close to the exhaust. An alternative system used is a rigid pole system, which comprises of many elements some of which are large and unwieldy. And, like the straps, they are not designed for higher tractive forces.
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We have developed a novel type of vehicle restraint which is in daily use for emissions testing by a number of our clients and we are proud to say is being recommended by other dynamometer manufacturers worldwide.
The Hatton Vehicle Restraint has a substructure that sits below floor level and carries a rigid Column Assembly. This can be easily moved laterally to suit the test vehicle which connects to the Restraint Column via a Clamp Head. This freely floats up and down to accommodate changes in vehicle ride height during acceleration.
The restraint is quick and easy to connect and it is then locked in position. Once locked the status is reported via interlocks to the dynamometer control system. This prevents the dyno from running without the vehicle being secure.
When running it keeps the vehicle safely in position whilst complying with international standards (including WLTP and CFR 1066 requirements – 300 mm fan stand-off at 200 mm height). The vehicle restraint fits to the front of the car and does not cause any damage to the vehicle: vital for Conformity of Production applications.
The overall design of the restraint is a standalone module making it suitable to supply as a turnkey package for both new dynamometers and retrofits. This also makes it easy to remove if required for major overhauls of the chassis dynamometer.
Options are available for use in climatic chambers (-40 degrees C) or to measure the tractive force via the Vehicle Restraint and this has already been provided for use in emissions and NVH applications. Powered lateral traverse and automatic braking are available.
If you are not using a Hatton Vehicle Restraint yet, we will be more than happy to come and meet with you and show you how well this works. It will speed up your testing process and your staff will appreciate working with a vehicle restraint that is strong, safe and easy to use.
If you would like to discuss any special applications requiring customised restraint solutions we can work with you to finding a suitable solution.
When the Hatton Vehicle Restraint is secured to a test vehicle a connector is required. Most passenger cars and vans incorporate a threaded socket in the chassis into which a screw-in towing eye can be fitted for vehicle recovery.
The Hatton Restraint Adapter is a custom-made connector that simply screws into this threaded socket to make a strong, secure and easy-to-use link between the two. This is achieved without any damage to the test vehicle which is particularly important in COP activities.
Some more specialised products and SUVs have a welded-on towing loop, e.g. Land Rovers, Ford Rangers in Europe, Toyota Land Cruisers and F-Series Trucks in the USA.
Hatton has designed and developed a series of Vehicle Restraint Clamps that can hold the vehicle securely in place on a chassis dynamometer without any damage to the car or its paintwork. The clamps are quick and simple to fit with security pins incorporated that ensure the integrity of the connection is maintained.