Head Expander for Vertical Vibration of
Large and Heavy Test Articles

Vertical Vibration Testing

Experior Laboratories’ vertical vibration system features a custom-designed 72” x 72” guided head expander that offers the best dynamic response for vibration testing of large and heavy test articles.

Vertical vibration testing of extra-large test articles comes with challenges – they are typically heavier and have mass further from the center of the shaker. This mass has the potential to generate large overturning moments and unwanted ‘cross-talk’ acceleration in directions other than the one being tested. Overturning moments can also overpower linear bearings inside the shaker, and large weights can exceed the capacity of the shaker’s ‘auto-centering’ airbags. 

A guided head expander typically provides two things:

1.     Bearings or additional restraints to restrict the motion to the vertical direction

2.     External airbags or load support at the frame to relieve the load on the internal airbags

Experior Labs Engineering Team designed Custom  aluminum roller flexure bearings which offer several advantages: 

·       Restrain motion vertically while allowing modest lateral displacement for thermal expansion

·       Provide maximum lateral stiffness when lateral displacement nears shaker internal limits

·       Provide minimal vertical stiffness to avoid interference with airbag isolating functionality

·       Long-life flexure elements fabricated from fatigue-resistant 2024 aluminum 

For load support, Firestone Airmount® airbag isolators were chosen with the design goal of maximizing load capability, isolating vibration, and maintaining the natural frequency below the range of testing. 

For projects requiring extreme stiffness and cross-axis control, Experior Labs’ custom-guided head expanders are ideally suited for extra-large and heavy test articles.

Guided 72”x72” Head Expander Introduction

Experior Laboratories’ vertical vibration system features a custom-designed 72” x 72” guided head expander that offers the best dynamic response for vibration testing of large and heavy test articles

Astrobotic Griffin Lunar Lander
Structural Test Model (STM) undergoes vibration testing on Experior Labs custom head expander

Vertical Vibration demonstration with a 72″x72″ slip table weighing nearly 20,000 lbs.

High Performance Vibration Testing for Large and Heavy Test Articles

The newly installed system combines two test industry expert components, a new Unholtz Dickie T4000 vibration system and a TEAM T-Film Bearing slip table.

The TEAM T-Film bearings have several benefits overs standard oil film and linear bearings. The unique inverted T shape of TEAM bearings provides improved stiffness, load transfer and improved moment transfer to the reaction base. This minimizes slip plate deflection and cross axis vibration, as well as allows for test articles with a much higher overturning moment. The hydrostatic bearings have significantly increased load capability, meaning the table can accommodate much heavier test articles.

Vibration Testing at Temperature

Standard Temperature chambers range from -75°C to +200°C. All chambers feature portholes for routing supply lines and/or signal cables to and from the equipment under test and all are equipped with electronic data acquisition monitoring to allow real-time charting of climatic conditions through data files and spreadsheets. Custom and non-standard temperatures available. Contact us for more information.

Video of Vibration Testing at Temperature
Vibration testing at temperature of Mil/Aero fiber optic connector with optical discontinuity monitored.

Learn more about our Temperature and Humidity Testing programs: experiorlabs.com/temperature-humidity-testing

UD T4000 Dual Shaker
Vibration Testing

Shock Testing & Vibration
Testing Capabilities

UD T2000 Dual Shaker
Vibration Testing

Extra Large Payload
Vibration Testing

Vibration testing system can be used in tandem to provide a combined 80,000 lbf for testing large articles.

Transportation Vibration Testing

Experior Labs’ dynamics laboratory can conduct Transportation Vibration testing per MIL-STD-810 Method 514 Procedure II “Loose Cargo Transportation”. During this vibration test, products are subjected to vibration profiles developed to simulate truck and rail shipments. The test severity, in particular, is for loose cargo transport in military vehicles traversing rough terrain.

High G Vibration Testing

High G Vibration Testing at 149 G rms. Random vibration testing of an electrical connector and backshell.

ORION spacecraft connector and back shell assembly provided by HiRel Connectors and Kern Engineering

Aerospace Test Campaign
T4000 Vibration

The above animation illustrates a proprietary resonance plate the Experior dynamics team designed to amplify the PSD profile generated by the vibration testing system armature and achieve High G levels approaching 200 G rms.

Experior Laboratories specializes in creating high-performing and demanding vibration, shock and vacuum tests associated with rocket launches and space environments. As one of the leading independent test laboratories in North America, Experior Labs is recognized for its superior customer service, consistent on-time delivery, project management by experts and end-to-end accountability.

Learn more about our Space Testing programs: experiorlabs.com/space-testing

Learn more about our Pyroshock Testing programs: experiorlabs.com/srs-shock-testing

Vibration Testing Expertise

Grace Beech

Grace Beech is one of the project engineers at Experior Laboratories, primarily focused in Dynamics.  She is responsible for most of the vibration testing and shock testing performed at Experior Labs.  Grace manages various aspects of the vibration testing lab, including fixture design and evaluation, program management, vibration testing capability evaluation, shaker troubleshooting and maintenance, and scheduling.

Grace joined Experior Laboratories in 2014.  She brought with her prior engineering experience from her work with Zodiac Aerospace’s business class seating segment, and also from her time as a manufacturing engineer in the vibration testing department at TriSep Corporation.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Gerrit Lane

Gerrit Lane joined the Experior Laboratories engineering team in 2015 and has since overseen the successful completion of over 150 environmental test programs. Specializing in dynamics testing and applications, Gerrit has led the design of Experior Laboratories’ pyroshock simulation test system (KIPS), and has designed several custom suites of standard fixtures for vibration testing and shock testing applications.

Gerrit holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Kevin Sullivan

Kevin comes to Experior Laboratories with over thirty years’ experience in dynamic testing applications. During his career at Aerojet Rocketdyne he specialized in combined test environments including cryogenically conditioned and pressurized test articles associated with rocket engine components, and supported programs as diverse as the Space Shuttle, International Space Station, expendable rocket propulsion systems, and kinetic energy defense programs. Kevin holds a BSEE from the University of Wyoming.


Contact Experior Labs Today To Learn More About Our Testing Capabilities