Site visit: Seat Technical Centre

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We take a tour of the climate test facility at Seat’s Technical Centre in Martorell, Spain

As he places a vehicle dashboard inside a test chamber, Rafael Bolívar, a technician at the Seat Technical Centre in Martorell, says, “From the desert heat of the Kalahari Desert to the frigid environment of Lapland, in this room we can reproduce every type of climate found on Earth.”

The facility’s suite of climate test chambers can simulate temperatures from -40 to 110ºC. Conditions of humidity and salt, such as those typically found in maritime regions, can also be replicated. “This ensures that if the car remains outdoors near the sea for prolonged periods, parts do not suffer from corrosion damage,” notes Bolívar.

The facility also houses the Xenotest system, which simulates solar loading. “In case the customer lives in Mexico and their car is exposed to hot sunlight day after day, we also have to verify that the car’s color does not fade,” Bolívar explains.

Depending on their location in the car, parts are left for between one week and four months, Bolívar explains as he places a sample tail light into the chamber. After 120 days the part is checked for any premature ageing.

The auto maker also sends prototypes to remote locations of the world where they are tested as part of a grueling test regime, which includes up to two years in polar and desert conditions.

Bolívar adds, “The sun in Mexico differs from in northern European countries such as Germany or Sweden, but the cars have to deliver the same performance in every circumstance, no matter where they are.”

February 21, 2017

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About Author

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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