Why did GM engineers spray 25,000 liters of water on the Cruze?
Shoeb Kalania, An Automobile Engineer by qualification and an automobile designer by passion, I am here with IndianAutosBlog to live my passion and do so by providing you with renderings and sketches of future vehicles.
The monsoon season is here, there will be dark skies, heavy rain and floods too.
But have you ever imagined how your car keeps you dry even during a heavy rain storm or while traversing flooded roads?
Well, you should thank the engineers at the testing facility of your car company.
Each modern car is tested on various parameters and one such is the weather test, where the vehicle is put through severe conditions that it could encounter at some point during its lifetime using a simulator. Simulators are used to create the exact required situations, as manufacturers cannot rely on Mother Nature to test the vehicles, since she is too moody.
One such example is the new Chevrolet Cruze. It is put through several weather tests and one of them is the “Universal Water Test” which is carried at the General Motors Milford Proving Ground.
In order to check the water-tight capability of the car 6,600 gallons (roughly 25,000 litres) of water is directly sprayed on it using 330 nozzles and all of it happens within 8 minutes.
That’s right! Within these 8 minutes the engineers will get to know if a vehicle is capable of taking on a rainstorm from hell, if it ever occurs during its lifetime, and keep its occupant dry at the end of it. GM cannot test every car that rolls out of the production line in the same way, but every new car has to be put through this test before it is approved for mass production.
At the Flooded Rain lab vehicles are driven through a foot deep water passage to make sure that the sealing on the doors and other parts is functioning as it should.
To create hot and cold climate conditions, Thermal Chambers are used, where the experts can create any weather ranging from the icy cold condition at the poles to the burning hot desert climate.
Another test that the Cruze goes through is at GM’s Climatic Wind Tunnel, which replicates hurricane-force winds.
Finally the vehicle is put through a Dust booth, where dust particles are filled and tests are carried out to make sure that they do not make their way into the cabin.
It is not only GM who carries out such tests but all major automakers take similar pains to provide the consumers a reliable and durable car to travel in.
So the next time you encounter such an extreme weather, spare a thought for the engineering team who worked on your car to make sure that you reach your destination safe and sound!
[With inputs from media.gm.com]