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Scania opens $60.9m climatic wind tunnel to test trucks, buses in Sweden

ABR Staff Writer Published 12 November 2013

Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania has opened its SEK400m ($60.9m) advanced climatic wind tunnel at its research and development center in Södertälje, Sweden, for the testing of full-size trucks and buses .


Using the new wind tunnel, Scania can subject test vehicles to the most demanding weather conditions on home ground, thereby speeding up development and improving performance.

This move by the company will make it less dependent on field testing and enable it to shorten lead time from development to product launch.

Scania research and development executive vice president Harald Ludanek said that this facility will help them improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions even further.

"Because we can reduce the impact of snow, rain and dirt, drivers will benefit from a better cab environment and enhanced safety," Ludanek added.

The new center can simulate temperatures between -35 and +50 degrees Celsius, as well as humidity of between 5 and 95%. The air channel system features a number of small snow cannons to produce various types of snow. The snow can be replaced with rain of whatever intensity desired, and even the drop size can be altered.

After adding an ultraviolet (UV) visible chemical to the rainwater, and subsequently illuminating the test vehicles with UV light, it is possible to determine exactly where rainwater and dirt have stuck and how they flow off the vehicle.

The test vehicle is parked on rollers - one for each set of wheels. These enable technicians to simulate speeds of up to 100 km/h, the optimal pace for testing trucks and buses.

Tests to be carried out on vehicles at this facility include how components withstand heat and chill, how rainwater flows off vehicles, driver visibility in heavy rain and snow, windscreen icing, wind noise and how dirt adheres to cab sides, rear view mirrors and door handles.

Construction of the 25m tall building commenced in 2011 and completed earlier this year, when extensive testing of the complex systems took place.


Image: Scania has opened advanced climatic wind tunnel to test full-size trucks and buses in Sweden. Photo: Courtesy of Scania CV AB.