At the Institute of Vehicle System Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) a new inner drum test bench had been build up and put into operation in 2022. This test bench allows the analysis of PLT (passenger and light truck) and truck tires under realistic quasi-stationary and dynamic loads on different real track surfaces. The test bench consists of a rotating drum and a load unit based on a servo-hydraulic hexapod unit, which allows almost any setting of the operating conditions of the tire with frequencies of up to 30 Hz. An electric wheel drive unit allows the tire to be loaded with respective drive and braking torques. In addition, the test bench construction principle allows the investigation of chassis systems, which can be attached to the Hexapod and be operated as a quarter vehicle.
Initially, the authors discuss the future demands on the experimental analysis of tires and identify major research fields for the usage of the new test bench. After this introduction, the authors present and describe details of the construction and the main technical specifications of the new test bench. The technical specifications will be compared to requirements resulting from the operation of PLT and truck tires, so that the operation field of the new test bench is more precisely described. Finally, first experimental results will be presented, that demonstrate the functionality of the test bench and give a first impression of future applications of the test bench.