Test Facility Slips Into Winter Mode

| Environmental Testing

Winter vehicle test facility expands its outdoor test tracks to 84km

Finnish tyre testing facility upgrades existing tracks and creates new ones ready for a growth in demand in the winter season of tyre trials.

Towards the end of autumn, Test World began its full programme of winter tyre and vehicle testing after expanding its outdoor tracks in Ivalo, Northern Finland. The team at Ivalo added 4km of new tracks to meet the rise in demand for tyre and vehicle test services, making the total length 84 km. Some tracks have been reshaped based on customer feedback and to meet changing requirements.

Test World is the world’s most northern tyre and vehicle test facility and is soon to open its outdoor test tracks after the first snow fall of the 2019/2020 winter season. Meanwhile, its indoor facilities will continue to operate throughout the winter, allowing for controlled and repeatable testing on wet and dry asphalt as well as snow and ice-covered roads. Earlier this year, Test World expanded its indoor facility to include new types of test track, including wet and dry braking surfaces. It is currently offering all customers who book the outdoor tracks a chance to trial indoor testing for free.

Indoor Ice Surface

To satisfy the demand for testing tyres on ice, one of Test World’s indoor snow platforms is being converted to an ice surface. The controlled temperature and humidity of the indoor facility presents an advantage compared to testing outdoors. The 16-metre width gives a much larger surface area than most other ice testing lanes. This allows testers to progressively move across the ice for a greater distance on new ice. The result is greater efficiency, as a higher number of tests can be conducted per visit.

According to Janne Seurujärvi, Managing Director at Test World, in full snow season, the centre is able to operate at full capacity by offering both indoor and outdoor tracks to customers.

This is the first winter that Test World can offer its expanded indoor facility in addition to the full suite of outdoor tracks, meaning this is likely to be the busiest winter ever at the Finnish facility.

“As our business grows, we are continually expanding our service offering to make sure that all customers can conduct tests in the same way with the assured level of efficiency and control as always, thanks to the increased amount of track space that we have available,” says Seurujärvi.

Driveability testing

The expansion earlier this year is a result of continued investment in Test World by its UK owners, Millbrook. The additional facilities accommodate more vehicle and tyre manufacturers’ requirements and provide extra capacity. Test World isn’t solely focused on tyre technology and offers a wide range of vehicle test opportunities, including powertrain driveability, vehicle system operability, braking, traction systems and its core tyre test capabilities. With accurate and reliable data, customers can develop products with enhanced safety, quality and performance.

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. A series of cold boxes with direct access onto the test tracks can be used to soak vehicles to -40°C prior to testing.

Test World has its own test team that carries out evaluations for customers. These include tyre manufacturers to vehicle OEMs and industry suppliers, who receive a fast and reliable service throughout the year. In addition, Test World’s innovative facilities are available to customers wishing to carry out their own test programmes.

Jonathan Newell
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