Ford reveals some of its grueling material durability tests

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Ford engineers subject all materials used inside its vehicles to a series of meticulous and unrelenting tests where they are stretched, scratched, snagged, sniffed and even splashed with the likes of grease, dirt and hot coffee, to help guarantee the durability of these fabrics, leathers and plastics.

These tests are done to help ensure it takes a lot more than a spilled cup of coffee, the graze of a sharp edge or any accidental scrapes and scuffs to break down these materials. A recent report from the auto maker reveals some of the unusual ordeals that Ford materials need to go through, including:

• The five-finger scratch test, which is used to scratch samples of different plastics to see how much abuse they can take;

• The soil and cleanability test, which splashes different substances on seat fabrics to evaluate how well they can be cleaned afterwards, testing their overall stain resistance;

• The resistance to dye transfer test, which rubs materials of different colors – such as new blue jeans – against the leather used for car seats to see if any stains are left behind;

• The mace snagging test, which spins seat fabrics on rotating rollers roughly 600 times while they are repeatedly struck by a spikey iron ball to test how strong they are.

In addition, a team of examiners smells various samples of materials used inside Ford vehicles and ranks them to help the engineers achieve interiors that are free of odors.

Click on the links below to see these tests in action:

• Car smells.

• Materials.

• Surprise spills.

January 27, 2016

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About Author


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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