Heavy Vehicle Structural Dynamics Laboratory

National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Versatile heavy vehicle vibration testing facility to study road, rail and vehicle dynamics, such as vibration and shock.

Areas of expertise

Able to accurately reproduce vehicle responses measured in the field, the lab is an indispensable tool for controlled investigations and accelerated test programs of rail and road vehicles and components.

In the lab, a selection of hydraulic actuators can be configured to provide inputs to your vehicle, sub-system or component as required. Working with our experienced staff, test plans can be created to address a wide variety of vibration and shock issues.

MTS Remote Parameter Control (RPC) software generates precise reproductions of field-measured forces and displacements. Alternatively, the system can generate random, sinusoidal, step, sawtooth or other vibration patterns to sweep through problem areas and pinpoint issues.

Research services

The lab can be configured to perform a wide range of structural dynamics and fatigue related tests but is best suited to testing railcars and heavy road vehicles. Specific testing services include:

  • Vehicle vibration testing
  • Analysis, modeling and reproduction of shock and vibration
  • System characterization and verification
  • Problem analysis
Sectors of application
  • Automotive
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Defence and security industries
  • Transportation



MTS electro-hydraulic vibration system

Full equipment set, which can be configured for a wide range of structural endurance and investigative vibration tests on heavy vehicles

Flex test 200 controller

Provides electronic monitoring and control for the entire system; includes a custom built interface controller and a standard personal computer (PC), which acts as the user interface

Remote parameter control (RPC) software

Software used to control the entire system and to perform related analyses

Hydraulic pump

Provides 360 gpm of hydraulic oil flow at 3000 psi to provide the motive force used to drive actuators in the system

Hydraulic actuators (12)

Ranging in capacity from 22,000 pounds of force (lbf) to 40,000 lbf. Electronically controlled linear actuators; can be controlled to produce predetermined motion time histories; frequency responses range from 0 to 50 Hz, depending on the test configuration.