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Automobile test chambers are a valuable tool that engineers use in the extensive testing that vehicles undergo before they ever hit the road. Of course, cars are put through their paces on test tracks, but did you know that environmentally controlled rooms created with insulated panels play a major role in automotive testing as well? Automakers around the world increasingly rely on these environmental automobile test chambers to emulate the harsh conditions that vehicles must endure. In fact, a recent study found that over the next five years the environmental test chambers market will grow from $1.3 billion to $1.6 billion.

What is an Automobile Test Chamber?

Environmental test chambers are controlled, artificial spaces used to recreate the conditions that vehicles and their parts will experience throughout their life. By conducting a series of carefully selected tests under accelerated conditions, manufacturers determine how long various components will last and whether the properties of the materials used might vary under different conditions. The goal is to keep drivers and passengers safe, as well as decrease warranty costs over the useful lifetime of the vehicle.

A Variety of Test Chambers Meet a Variety of Needs

A wide range of test chambers are used in the auto industry. Corrosion test chambers use salt sprays and high humidity conditions to ensure materials can withstand a coastal environment or the road salt used in snowy winters. Emissions test chambers are essential to ensure vehicles are energy efficient and don’t pollute the environment. In addition, stresses created by environmental factors or rough roads can be simulated using vibration test chambers, and damage anticipated. Finally, temperature and climate test chambers, many of them using KPS Global® insulated panels, are used for temperature cycling and accelerated stress testing.

The Cool Things Automobile Test Chambers Do

An environmental test chamber allows engineers to simulate various climates and conditions by varying two parameters: temperature and humidity. To precisely control the temperature, the chamber must be able to both heat and cool the air, as well as distribute the temperature evenly throughout the test compartment to ensure all components and surfaces are subjected to the same conditions. The mechanical cooling system of a climatic chamber is achieved using the same components present in most refrigerant systems: a compressor, condenser, expansion valve, and evaporator. However, the system must be designed for industrial conditions and be sized to efficiently achieve a minimum temperature of -40°C or less. Heat is produced through elements placed near the ventilation system, and direct humidification is typically achieved using an electric humidifier, which injects steam in the air near the re-circulation fan. Air can also be quickly dehumidified by utilizing the same mechanical system used for cooling. And the temperature in the chamber is kept stable using insulated panels, such as those from KPS Global®.

KPS Global® Makes Environmental Test Chambers Possible

KPS Global® produces insulated panels which are used to maintain a stable environment for automobile test chambers. These panel systems provide a cost-effective solution, are available in a variety of thicknesses, and are modular for ease of assembly. Interlocking tongue-and-groove perimeter panels are joined with a cam-lock to ensure a tight seal. Double bulb compression gaskets are standard, and each panel is made of solid core, poured-in-place urethane insulation to achieve superior performance and low operating costs. And all panel systems are designed as single or multi-compartment chambers that can be modified easily.

KPS Global® is the industry-leading manufacturer of insulated panel systems used in test chambers to control temperature and humidity conditions. With a team of field technicians strategically located throughout the country who can handle everything associated with the installation, KPSG is your superior cold storage and environmental test chamber partner. To find out more, visit https://kpsglobal.com/industries/scientific/.