Ford Tests Belts with Sakor Stand

May 31, 2014

Test instrumentation company SAKOR Technologies has supplied a belt noise test stand to Ford Motor Co., which the company will use to meet new SAE specifications for belt noise in vehicle Front End Accessory Drive (FEAD) applications, as well as other noise testing requirements.

The SAE J2432-2012 standard, Performance Testing of PK Section V-Ribbed Belts, covers accessory drive belt testing methods and includes test configurations, pulley diameters, power loads, and guidance for interpreting test data, according to a press release.

According to Scott Willis, FEAD Technical Specialist at Ford, the belt test system can be used for testing belts of any length or width, and was designed to have test capabilities over and above what is required in the SAE specification. The test stand can be used for testing both axial and angular belt misalignment and performing belt aging and durability testing.

“This test stand allows us to test in accordance with the current SAE specification and is versatile enough to adapt to further noise test development, which will allow Ford to continue to provide the highest quality product to our customers,” said Willis, who leads SAE’s Belt Drive (Automotive) Systems Committee.

The new belt noise test stand uses a high-speed AC dynamometer system to simulate the engine, allowing testing to be performed in a clean laboratory environment without the need for the fuel, cooling and fire suppression systems necessary for fired-engine testing. The dynamometer precisely simulates the torque pulses from engine firing, which are critical for the type of noise testing being performed, the release noted.

The test stand also includes a thermal chamber as well as a water mist system to simulate a wide range of environmental conditions that are also known to affect belt noise performance.

Beyond the SAE J2432-2012 testing, the unit is also capable of creating misalignment and/or tilt to the pulleys, which can also be major contributors to engine belt noise. This allows Ford to test new formulations of rubber, new fibrous materials, or new pulley and belt shapes designed to minimize belt chirp under a wide range of environmental conditions.

“We are gratified that the new test unit has been so well received by Ford,” said Randal Beattie, president of SAKOR. “Several other major belt manufacturers have visited our facility to see the stand and have expressed intent in acquiring similar equipment.”