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Bailey has a long standing relationship with the University of Bath and has been joint sponsor of the research by Dr Jos Darling and the Department of Mechanical Engineering into towing stability for many years.

They have been involved in the Alu-Tech project from the outset acting as general technical consultants as well as carrying out a variety of product performance tests.

Dr Jos Darling

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Stability testing - measurement of the YAW inertia of the caravan to assess the inherent stability of the structure. The readings were taken for the same model in both Alu-Tech and classic construction with the YAW inertia values for the Alu-Tech model being 5% lower. This means that there is a better distribution of weight in the new shell design, with a greater percentage of the weight nearer the centre of the caravan.

For more information on the research carried out by The University of Bath into towing stability please visit the following dedicated micro site: www.towingstabilitystudies.co.uk

Thermal imaging - photography of the caravan using an infra-red camera to identify the hot and cold spots within the structure. This exercise was of key importance in helping to gain Grade III classification for Thermal Insulation (EN1645-I).

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Torsional rigidity test - measurement of the caravan body shell stiffness, comparing an Alu-Tech and a classic construction model. The results showed that the Alu-Tech shell displayed greater levels of torsional rigidity meaning that it is less prone to flexing whilst on the move.

Finite element analysis - computer modelling of the stress and deflection of the Alu-Tech body shell when subject to loading. This identified any potential weak spots in the structure enabling changes to be made in the design.

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering conducted a number of individual tests on caravan assemblies as part of the simultaneous engineering development process. Primarily looking at the structural performance of each of the body shell sections a series of direct pull and sheer tests were carried out to assess the suitability of the adhesives and individual components.

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The University of Bath also provided general technical consultancy throughout the development process on a wide range of topics from aerodynamic body shell profiling to the analysis of the Millbrook accelerated life test results.

For more information on the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath please visit www.bath.ac.uk/mech-eng/


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