Temperature, humidity, and other climatic influences may affect the performance of both electronic and fossil fuel vehicles, components and parts, or even cause their failure. The purpose of cold environment testing is to simulate the life cycle environment that is encountered by a product to ensure it can perform satisfactorily in the intended environment.
And why is automotive winter testing so important? Well, as we usually say “If it works up here, it can work anywhere!”.
What’s included in automotive winter testing?
There’s a plethora of things to consider in automotive winter testing. Every single part, component, and function of the vehicle needs to be tested thoroughly to guarantee its performance. This includes testing things such as:
- Emissions testing – How much emissions are produced in cold vs. warm weather
- Cold start drivability testing for vehicles and engines
- Cold performance testing
- Thermal performance profiling
- Thermal protection and enhancement testing
- Durability testing
- Thermal shock testing
- Tyre performance in cold environments
- …and many more
What are the components and parts most susceptible to extreme cold?
One of the most susceptible components is the battery, both in EV and conventional fossil fuel vehicles and can lose a significant portion of their capacity when exposed. This is because it will need to warm itself up to a certain temperature before it can function, meaning less energy gets put toward actual driving.
Other susceptible parts include adhesives and plastics.
Different types of cold environment testing
Cold environment testing is usually divided into two sections:
- Testing outside on tracks to observe the performance in a “real-life” setting
- Testing inside labs and different types of cold chambers
Different types of test tracks are an essential part of cold environment testing to simulate a real-life setting to test the vehicle. The traction control on different surfaces and slopes with varied steepness, brake performance, endurance testing, vehicle dynamics, chassis setups, among many other applications.
Cold chambers allow for repeatable tests of both vehicles and separate components and parts to be carried out in a controlled climatic environment. Cold environment testing in cold chambers is often carried out to evaluate the performance of different materials and systems when exposed to extreme cold temperatures over a longer period of time.
Increased brittleness, frailty, and stiffness of materials are a few of the effects that a cold chamber soak might often include.
Cold environment testing with Icemakers
Automotive winter testing should always be performed using both test tracks and cold chambers as they cover the essentials when it comes to winter vehicle testing. Good thing we offer both, and a plethora of other services to allow you to be able to put your vehicles to the test.