Testing and Certification
At Option Lab Wheels, we start every completed concept design off with computer simulated stress test also known as the Finite Element Analysis (FEA). This computer simulation allows us to see where the stress point, if any, is on the wheel. After mold completion, a small batch of wheels will be casted for testing purpose as computer simulation is merely a simulation. We put all of our wheels through three major tests – Impact, Cornering, and Radial Fatigue.
Impact test is performed with a approx 600 KG (1300 LB) piece of steel dropped onto the face of the wheel at 13° angle. This test simulates instances where the vehicle hits the curb, and the spokes must remain intact and not separated from the barrel.
Cornering test is performed by shaking the spokes laterally under load (approx 4000 Nm) at high frequency to simulate the vehicle being driven through a corner at high speed/stress for minimum of 95,000 cycles.
Radial fatigue test is performed with tire mounted on the wheel and spinning it for close to 2 million revolution while under approx 15000 N of load to simulate the stress of the wheel on a vehicle while carrying all passengers and cargo.
Besides the initial testing, we put every single Option Lab wheel through an X-Ray machine when they come off the casting line. Computer X-Ray machine will examine and detect if there are any air pocket within the casting; failed products will be automatically rejected and recycled. Low cost manufacturer will typically have a personnel examine the casting manually and some only checks it periodically.
After the wheels goes through most of the machining process, we put every single wheel through to test both run-out and balance.
Another critical part of the manufacturing process is checking for leaks. While the traditional method is to submerge the wheel in a water tank for 30 seconds and a person checks for air pocket, Option Lab utilizes Hydrogen gas test at approx 70 psi for 60 seconds, and computers will detect for leak.