As temperatures rise in Europe towards their summer peak, Test World is continuing to offer the full range of cold weather tyre and vehicle test services from its proving ground in Finnish Lapland. Its unique indoor test facilities stay cold even in the warmer months when snow and ice have long melted away outside.
The expanded indoor test facilities were opened earlier this year, increasing Test World’s capacity and capability for year-round cold weather testing. They enable simultaneous, controlled and repeatable testing on snow, ice, and wet and dry asphalt, 365 days a year.
Test World can convert several of its indoor test tracks to ice. The ice surfaces give excellent consistency over longer periods of time thanks to the independent control of surface temperature, air temperature and humidity.
Other possibilities include creating two surfaces with different levels of friction for split-μ (mu) testing. These can be used to test a vehicle’s Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and assess the impact of changing grip level on steering control. The ‘mu jump’ analysis is carried out by driving from one surface to another – for example, from high to low friction, or vice versa – and checking how soon the ABS system responds.
“Test World is operational all year round, thanks to our outstanding indoor test facilities,” said Susan Vuoriaro, Chief Operating Officer at Test World. “Our setting in northern Finland is ideal for cold weather testing, with temperatures outside reaching freezing for many months of the year. However, our customers need access to cold weather tracks all the time, which we can also help with. At this time of the year, very few facilities can offer the controlled ice testing that we offer to such a high standard.”
The total length of Test World’s indoor test tracks is 1.6km. They allow speeds in excess of 100km/h, and offer independent control of surface temperature and air temperature. In addition, a series of cold boxes with direct access onto the test tracks can be used to soak vehicles to -40°C prior to testing.
The expansion earlier this year comes as a result of continued investment in Test World since its founding in 1991. The additional facilities accommodate more requirements of vehicle and tyre manufacturers and provide extra capacity. Test World offers a wide range of vehicle test opportunities, including powertrain driveability, vehicle system operability, braking, traction systems and extensive tyre test capabilities. With accurate and reliable data, customers can develop products with enhanced safety, quality and performance.
Test World has its own test team that carries out evaluations for customers, from tyre manufacturers to vehicle manufacturers and industry suppliers, providing a fast and reliable service throughout the year. In addition, Test World’s innovative facilities are available to customers wishing carry out their own test programmes.