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How can we validate the structural integrity of a small lightweight chassis manufactured from 6063-T6 aluminium that has been welded and then heat treated (back to t6 condition)? A simple FEA model has been created but does not consider any thermal analysis and just gives a basic approximation. We are setting up strain gauges and will perform the test today at around 5pm UK time. I am wondering, is it possible that while performing the strain gauging, could we also measure deflection somehow? Even using a string as a baseline then crudely get a deflection measurement etc. Any suggestions?

This is our first time strain gauging so using it as a sole method to validate our FEA will maybe not be wise.

Thanks for all replies!

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Just seen this, you should set some fixed points, from the floor for example and then you can measure the deflections / changes as you apply the loads to specific points - you don't mention how you are applying loads but setting up strain gauges and performing the test leads me to believe you will be loading the chassis.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response! Unfortunately missed this as got caught up in the testing before seeing this however you made the correct suggestion! This only occurred to us too late, as it would have been so simple to measure between the floor and a chassis member. Tried to simulate reality, so propped chassis near wheel mounts and hung weight stacks at load points. We got strain values and measured deflections when unloading, so although not ideal, should hopefully give a further indication due to elastic deformation. Test seemed a success (7kg chassis with 96kg load) - will analyse data and see $\endgroup$ – massey95 Apr 16 '17 at 8:51
  • $\begingroup$ That sounds a success! Good luck with it. $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Apr 16 '17 at 16:48

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