Newly installed climatic chamber bolsters Millbrook’s test portfolio

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A new large climatic chamber at Millbrook Proving Ground will enable tests of a wide range of vehicles, including passenger cars and LCVs, and commercial, public service, and military vehicles.

Inside the chamber, temperatures as low as -60°C and up to +85°C (both ±2°C) can be achieved, and relative humidity levels from 3 to 98%. The facility also has solar array compatibility.

At 13.7m long, 5.7m wide and 6m high (internal measurements), and with a vehicle door opening measuring 5.1m x 5.0m, the facility can comfortably accommodate multiple vehicles, enabling manufacturers to reduce the length of their test programs and speed up development.

As well as batch testing vehicles, the size of the chamber means that a variety of tests can be undertaken to simulate events with multiple vehicles in extreme climates, such as how the chassis of the vehicle reacts to a knock at below zero temperatures.

“The possibilities for testing in the facility are so varied, and there are very few limitations outside of the physical specifications,” said Darren Williams, principal engineer of test methodologies at Millbrook. “For example, testing functionality of doors is a key, yet lengthy, element of new vehicle development. The size of this facility means that time can be cut by a factor of five for some applications.”

The size of the chamber is particularly relevant for LCV manufacturers as it ensures limited movement, facilitating brake tests or for testing parking components at extreme temperatures.

May 24, 2017

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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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