Millbrook opens large climatic chamber

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Millbrook Group, the independent vehicle testing site, has opened a large climatic chamber.

It is capable of -60°C to +85°C to test a vehicle’s performance in the most extreme temperatures, and is create humidity levels from 3-98%.

It also has solar array to simulate sunshine heating on a vehicle, in addition to the changing temperatures.

At 13.7m long, 5.7m wide and 6m high it will accommodate most commercial vehicles.

The facility adds to a comprehensive on-site offering that also includes its recently-opened 4WD dynamometer and variable temperature emissions chamber.

Changeable weather conditions or extreme climates can have a considerable impact on a wide range of vehicle functions.

The durability of such functions as heating, air conditioning, demisting and even engine start can be affected by extreme climates or weather conditions. International manufacturers can use the chamber to ensure the vehicle remains reliable in a variety of settings, through durability testing of components and materials in icy or humid conditions.

The chamber can also serve as an excellent climatic ‘soak’ chamber, capable of taking a vehicles temperature to any required extreme, prior to emissions testing with Millbrook’s PEMS equipment.

“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 – test methodologies at Millbrook.

“For example, the retaining function of doors in any temperature is of particular importance for a public service vehicle. The facility can be used to test that at the development stage and ensure the product is right by the time it reaches service.”

Temperature and humidity settings can be changed during use, thus simulating how a vehicle may respond to variable day and night conditions. The facility also has solar array compatibility to accurately recreate solar load on a vehicle, in addition to the changing temperatures.

Millbrook Group provides vehicle testing and validation services to customers in the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical, defence and security industries. It is independent and impartial in everything it does.

It has a range of test facilities for components and full vehicles. These include varied indoor and outdoor test tracks in the UK and Northern Finland, engine dynamometers, environmental chambers, crash laboratories and advanced emissions chassis dynamometers.

Millbrook’s employees are “passionate about safety, customer service and technical excellence, making them ideal partners at any stage in the development and launch of the vehicles of tomorrow.”

Millbrook Group is part of the Test and Measurement business segment of Spectris plc.