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MIL-STD-810 Method 514 Vibration Testing

MIL-STD-810 Method 514 applies vibration testing and accelerated life cycle aging of equipment to determine its ability to endure random or frequent vibration in the field during its operating life. The test team at Clark Dynamics Test Lab conducts MIL-STD-810, Method 514 to assess the ability of equipment to withstand vibration that it may encounter during transportation, operation, or other random events.

Clark’s MIL 810 Vibration testing services support companies product development programs enabling them to meet the latest defense, aerospace, automotive, transportation and commercial requirements, including:

  • Random
  • Sinusoidal
  • Resonance Search & Dwell
  • Narrow Band Random on Random
  • Sine-on Random
  • · Combined Temperature and Vibration
  • · Helicopter Rotor Frequency Simulation
  • Gunfire Simulation
  • Shock Response Spectrum (SRS)
  • Blade-off vibration (engine fan blade loss and windmilling)

Vibration testing will determine the design integrity and the ability of equipment to withstand vibration typically encountered during its service life. It helps identify potential design flaws that may lead to malfunction or failure due to the exposure of vibration.

Clark’s vibration test engineers will draft a test plan establishing detailed procedures for product development, quality and test engineers conducting vibration testing. Method 514 of MIL 810 provides specifications for the type, direction, and amplitude of vibrations, as well as the frequency range and duration of the tests. The Method 524 also defines various vibration profiles, such as sine, random, and swept-sine, to simulate different real-world vibration conditions.

Vibration levels can vary based on the application and installation of the equipment and are categorized into fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, ground vehicles, shipboards, and space systems. Each category has specific vibration levels and profiles to replicate the vibrations experienced in those environments. Test levels are designed to duplicate operating conditions and are based on data acquisition and testing from the field of operation in each category.

Clark Testing has a variety of Electrodynamic and hydraulic shake tables that are able to induce or simulate vibration in the field.  Clark’s shake tables include a variety of capabilities including frequency (Hz), amplitude and distance (stroke).  We test in horizontal and/or vertical axis in order to simulate the orientation of the equipment in the field.  The data acquisition and control equipment is calibrated in accordance with Clark’s ISO 17025-2017 quality program.   

MIL 810 Method 514 defines the acceptance criteria for performance limits that the equipment should meet during and after the vibration test. These criteria may include allowable levels of displacement, acceleration, resonance, and functional performance to ensure the equipment's proper operation.  

There are four procedures in Method 514.8, each of which are unique to the eventual use and application of a particular system:  

  • Procedure I – general vibration – for systems that are tied down or secured during transportation or that are intended to be deployed on a vehicle at some point during their life cycle. 
  • This test covers both transportation and operational conditions and involves securing a system to vibration testing equipment for assessment 
  • Procedure II – loose cargo transportation –for systems that will be transported in trucks or trailers and that won't be secured or tied down 
  • This test involves placing the unsecured system onto vibration testing equipment for assessment. Fencing is often installed around the system to prevent it from falling off the vibration table during testing. 
  • Procedure III – large assembly transportation – for big collections of systems forming a higher proportion of vehicle mass that are installed on or being transported by wheeled or tracked vehicles 
  • This test involves placing the system onto or inside of the type of vehicle that will be used for transportation. The vehicle is driven over surfaces that will be encountered during the system’s life cycle, resulting in an application-specific simulation demonstrative of real-world vibrations 
  • Procedure IV – assembled aircraft store captive carriage and free flight – for systems fixed or mounted on aircraft 
  • This test involves the use of vibration exciters that drive the test item directly or through a fixture 

The test engineering team at Clark Testing can help ensure that equipment will function and maintain its performance while operating in an environment exposed to high levels of vibration.  Call or email the Clark Dynamics Test Laboratory for assistance in developing a test plan and conducting the appropriate test to validate your equipment in accordance with MIL-STD-810G Method 514. 

Test Set Up

In house custom design and fabrication capabilities (machining and welding) to ensure test fixtures accurately simulation environmental conditions.  FEA capabilities to support fixture design along with welding, fabrication & machining services.  Multiple vibration adapter plates and prefabricated test fixtures help to streamline the testing process.

Instrumentation capabilities including accelerometers and strain gages with multi-channel control and data acquisition equipment ensuring accurate test data is being recorded.  All instrumentation and equipment is provided with measurement uncertainty and compliant   with Clark’s ISO 17025-2017 Quality Program.

Lab technicians and engineers record daily test activities to register all activities, events, and responses during the test.  The daily test logs along with test data, pictures and test procedures are included in comprehensive test report that is the industry standard.

 We work closely with you to validate engineering, ensure quality, analyze test spectrums, and execute accurate testing programs for successful qualification and marketing of your product.

We work closely with you to validate engineering, ensure quality, analyze products and qualify equipment while supporting the time constraints and product cycles that are vital to your success.

Paul Heffernan, CEO of Clark Testing