Official Opening of Indoor Winter Test Facility

Thanks to the recent expansion, Test World has become the first in the industry to offer testing on natural snow, ice and wet and dry asphalt in one location, 365 days a year. It now offers 1.6km (1 mile) of indoor test tracks, allowing speeds in excess of 100km/h, with independent control of surface temperature and air temperature.

Test World’s extended indoor winter test facilities offer a valuable resource for year-round tyre and vehicle testing, saving customers time and improving test quality.

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Facts and Figures

The indoor winter test facilities at Test World consist of:

  • 410m of snow and ice for acceleration and braking work, snow ingress tests and EV performance evaluations
  • 350m closed-circuit snow track for cold driveability and handling tests
  • 410m indoor asphalt track that contains:
    • 100m of wet braking surface, conforming to UN/ECE Regulation No 117 (R117) for tyre testing
    • 100m of dry asphalt for brake noise testing and tyre development
    • 100m aquaplaning trough with 8mm water depth for tyre development
  • Integrated climatic chambers operating down to -40°C for cold start tests, EV battery thermal management measurement and cabin heating performance evaluations
  • 12 workshops, many with direct access to the indoor winter test facilities

..all expertly managed by Test World’s team to provide the highest quality of tests.

The indoor infrastructure offers tyre and vehicle manufacturers:

  • Access to a unique combination of test surfaces, 365 days a year, regardless of the weather conditions outdoors
  • Independent control of asphalt surface temperature and air temperature
  • Independent control of temperatures in different areas of the facility
  • Conveniently located workshops, offices and storage areas

In addition, Test World offers:

  • Two extensive outdoor winter proving grounds covering 1,120ha (2,770 acres)
  • AC and DC chargers up to 150kW
  • Highly experienced in-house test team

Applications

Winter Tyre Testing

New wet and dry indoor asphalt test tracks are now available for tyre testing, including studded tyres.

Development and benchmarking tests carried out at Test World include:

  • Snow and ice acceleration, braking and handling
  • Wet and dry braking and handing
  • Longitudinal aquaplaning
  • Tyre wear and durability
  • Accelerated stud wear
  • Studded tyre road wear

Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Cold Weather Testing

Cold conditions pose a particular challenge to the electric powertrain including the electric motor, high-voltage battery and the thermal management system.  Instead of waiting for the weather to change, customers can use the indoor facilities to test their vehicles under the desired conditions, 365 days a year.

The extended indoor snow and ice platforms and the newly-opened indoor asphalt track provide vehicle manufacturers with facilities ideal for cold-weather driven tests. Continuous running is possible using the indoor handling track.

With controlled environmental chambers operating down to -40°C, and the temperature of the indoor facilities as low as -13°C, performance and range measurements from a cold start can be assessed under a range of controlled and repeatable conditions. The indoor facilities allow vehicles to be driven through prescribed drive cycles at speed.

By varying the controlled conditions indoors, the effectiveness of battery thermal management systems and the effect of temperature on range and performance can be measured under a range of low ambient temperature scenarios. Customers can also optimise the effectiveness and efficiency of cabin and battery heating systems using the facilities.

Customers can calibrate the traction control system under low to medium speeds, including optimisation of the traction control during EV regeneration to avoid wheel lock on low mu surfaces.  For parallel hybrid systems, driving on low and high mu surfaces, the transition between pure electric drive and the ICE drive can be calibrated to achieve a smooth transition.

Tyre Certification and Tyre Labelling

Brand new indoor wet grip surface at Test World conforms to the requirements of UN/ECE Regulation No 117 (R117). 

Test World makes testing tyres simple and efficient. It has all the necessary facilities, equipment and support for grip/traction and braking tests on snow, ice and wet and dry asphalt surfaces. They are available simultaneously, 365 days a year, in one location, for development, certification and labelling. In addition, Test World offers tyre noise testing at its sister facility, Millbrook Proving Ground, in the UK. The pass-by noise test track and surface at Millbrook is ISO 10844:2014 certified.

Test World now offers:

  • All tyre categories and tests
    • C1, C2, C3 tyres
    • Retreaded tyres
  • R117/R109 snow braking for C1/C2*
  • R117/R109 snow acceleration for C3*
  • ASTM1805 US snowflake - from Q3 2019*
  • R117 spin traction for C1/C2 - from Q3 2019*
  • ISO19447 ice grip*
  • R117/EC1222 wet braking*
  • R117/EC1222 pass-by noise
  • 408/2003, 466/2009 / SFS7503 studded tyre road wear (over run)

*These tests can be carried out throughout the year using indoor facilities

R117 SURFACE PRESS RELEASE

Indoor winter test track at Test World proving ground featuring R117-certified wet braking surface for tyre testing

Quotations

Alex Burns, President of Millbrook, said:

“We are delighted to be opening this outstanding new facility. It demonstrates our commitment to find new ways to reduce the cost of testing for our customers and to help them to get their products to market more quickly. The indoor R117-certified wet braking area is a particularly significant step forward."

Frits van der Steege of Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Europe GmbH said:

“The Test World Indoor Facility allows Kenda to do affordable winter testing in the summer months. This has the advantage of shortening development cycles, therefore getting our products to market in a shorter time.”

Jean-Marie Vespasien, Tuning Engineering Leader, Renault said:

“Getting a first assessment of drivability, overall system performance and gearshift quality in cold conditions for our new powertrain while meeting project schedule was a quite complex equation to solve. Test World indoor facilities are a very practical solution for dynamic powertrain evaluations when winter season is over. The team was also very thankful to Test World’s personnel who was very supportive all along our stay.”

Janne Seurujärvi, Managing Director of Test World, said:

“This latest expansion is a testament to all the hard work that our teams at Test World and Millbrook have put into answering the needs of the industries we serve. Our customers need controlled, reliable test conditions throughout the year for development, certification and labelling, in one convenient location. We strive to make this a reality.”

Alexander Schlemmer of Apollo Tyres said:

“For our objective snow testing it is necessary to have constant weather and temperature conditions. This is provided at Test World’s indoor facility. Also the indoor handling track is very useful, it allows parallel tests, objective and subjective. The skilled maintenance personnel take care that the track surface has always constant preparation conditions. The complete support is very customer-oriented. But the main thing is, that it´s possible to test on snow during the whole year, even in the summer time. This allows a fast winter tyre development.”

Representative for ADAC said:

“In 2016 we moved our snow testing from the Swiss Alps to Test World’s Mellatracks. We’re very satisfied with the tracks and the customer oriented, flexible service. On Mellatracks we improved our testing quality and efficiency.”

About Test World

Test World is based in Northern Finland and specialises in vehicle and tyre testing in winter conditions.

It offers extensive snow and ice tracks and the world’s first indoor winter test facilities. From April 2018, three new indoor areas  started coming online. They will increase the capacity for testing on natural snow and ice and introduce wet and dry braking and aquaplaning surfaces.

Test World manages the tracks to give consistent, repeatable results that are highly valued by tyre and passenger car test teams alike. Customers benefit from the availability of service buildings nearby, from a wide range of accommodation and hospitality options, and from Test World’s legendary customer service.

Test World is part of Millbrook.

Tire Industry Supplier of the Year

About Millbrook

Millbrook provides vehicle test and validation services and systems to customers in the automotive, transport, tyre, petrochemical and defence industries. It is independent and impartial in everything it does.

It has a range of test facilities for components and full vehicles. These include varied indoor and outdoor test tracks in the UK and Northern Finland, engine dynamometers, environmental chambers, e-motor and e-axle test cells, structural test laboratories, crash laboratories, interior systems laboratories, battery test facilities and advanced emissions chassis dynamometers.

Millbrook designs, builds, installs, and services dynamometer test systems and an associated data acquisition and control system.

Millbrook’s employees are passionate about safety, customer service and technical excellence, making them ideal partners at any stage in the development and launch of the vehicles of tomorrow.

Millbrook is part of Spectris plc

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This page will be updated with more information from the opening event shortly. Please contact the team via info@millbrook.co.uk for additional materials.

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