Jaguars put to the severest test in all-weather chamber

A new test chamber at Jaguar will enable the car maker to put cars through a 150,000 mile test in just three weeks. The chamber has been designed to take the cars to the limit, replicating climates that range from the 50oC heat of Arizona’s Mojave desert to the arctic wilderness of Alaska. Created by […]

A new test chamber at Jaguar will enable the car maker to put cars through a 150,000 mile test in just three weeks.

The chamber has been designed to take the cars to the limit, replicating climates that range from the 50oC heat of Arizona’s Mojave desert to the arctic wilderness of Alaska.

Created by Clive Hurley Environmental Engineering, the chamber, which is 8.5m long and 6.3m wide with a ceiling height of 3.5m, is big enough to test any of the new breed of Jaguar.

The principal purpose of the chamber is to monitor the cars under a range of environmental conditions. To deliver the right environment the walls and ceiling have been constructed from insulated acoustic tiles. These detachable panels have been designed to provide an ambient sound level of around 40db. This feature allows engineers to conduct vehicle sound measurement by monitoring the slightest sound from any area of the car.

As with the walls, the floor of the chamber has been thermally and acoustically insulated from disturbances which might originate from the MTS tyre-coupled four-poster actuator units. The design permits introduction of vehicles of different sizes.

To replicate the effects of sunrise and sunset as well as the midday sun the chamber features a facility powered by more than 600 flexibly mounted infra-red lamp arrays. The lamp’s operating range is from 0-60oC with relative humidity levels between 15-98%.

`It is important that the test vehicle is subject to consistent environmental conditions when undergoing a trial,’ Bill Slater, head of structural testing at Jaguar, said. `Factors such as temperature and humidity can have a significant effect on component strength and operational characteristics.’

Copyright: Centaur Communications Ltd. and licensors