Ice & Weather report

Arjeplog today

Temp 10.8 °C

Wind 4.2 m/s

Ice thickness 80 cm

Arvidsjaur today

Temp 12.3 °C

Wind 3.3 m/s

Ice thickness 85 cm

26 Nov 2021

Types of cold weather and snow tracks for vehicle testing

Snow, ice, and cold temperatures. They provide a different challenge where the vehicle needs to be able to handle all three. Icemakers have delivered high-quality cold weather and snow tracks for vehicle testing for over 50 years to globally leading companies within the automotive industry. 

While we and the winter test region might be most famous for our snow tracks for vehicles, Icemakers also offer a range of special test tracks in various forms and materials on both ice and land to test vehicles in cold temperatures. 

In this article, we’ll give a quick overview of all our different snow tracks for vehicles and other special tracks for vehicle testing.

Snow tracks for vehicles

Lake tracks

Every winter, we prepare over 900 000 m2 of lake snow tracks for vehicle testing, tailor-made for our customers to allow them to test everything from the traction of the vehicle's wheels and braking capabilities, to the performance of the battery in an electric vehicle. We mostly rely on the natural lake effect snow instead of creating our own which allows our clients to conduct winter performance testing as close to the real world as possible. 

Land-based tracks

There’s not much difference between our land-based snow tracks for vehicles and lake tracks, except, of course, it’s on land. The benefit to complement lake tracks and land-based tracks are that the opportunity to start the winter test season starts much earlier. As most of our special tracks are land-based, we’ve decided to introduce them separately further down to make a clear distinction between our land-based snow tracks, and our special tracks on land.

Special tracks

Frequency sweep test track (FSTT)

The goal of the FSTT is to create an environment where you can excite vehicles at different frequencies to detect and evaluate acousting problems, such as squeaks and rattles. The basic idea behind a FSTT is that a vehicle traveling along the track at a constant speed will be exposed to a constant force, but with changing frequencies. 

The frequency is increased and decreased as the vehicle drives along the track, where the force is created from ribs mounted on the track. 

Cobblestone track

The cobblestone track has a similar function to the FSTT, where natural stone (cobblestone) creates a randomly variable force instead of a controller frequency sweep.

Torque hill track

A torque hill track is used to test the strength and rigidity of the chassis under an uneven load/torque. It consists of multiple smaller snow- and ice hills, which when driven over, the chassis is subjected to different degrees of force working different parts of the chassis to test its capabilities.

Chassis scrape track

Chassis scrape tracks are used to test the durability of a vehicle’s underbody against force scraping in cold temperatures where materials become more brittle. The obstacles are constructed from ice in various heights suitable for a variety of different vehicles. 

Pothole track

A pothole track is exactly as it sounds, a track filled with potholes to simulate driving on a badly maintained road in a cold climate. It could be referred to as a suspension test track as when driving over the potholes, the vehicle is subjected to sudden and intense shocks and jolts, testing the performance of the suspension, but also the chassis and other systems.

Stair track

The stair track uses the same concept as the FSTT and is similarly used to test vehicles for rattle and squeak by exposing them to different frequencies. The difference is that stair tracks achieve the different frequencies by driving along the track at different speeds, rather than getting the full interval whilst maintaining a constant speed. 

Globally leading winter track constructor

We provide all kinds of test-related services alongside our winter test tracks, allowing you to focus on your task - to test and improve the products and materials of tomorrow’s vehicle industry. 

Contact us today to find out more about our snow tracks for vehicles, test hills, suspension test tracks, and other special tracks.

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