Ford Australia has made its $20 million Advanced Centre for Automotive Research and Testing (ACART) available to industry group VASA, marking only the second time an outside organisation has used the centre.
Based at its You Yangs Proving Ground near Geelong, the ACART facility will be used by VASA - the national body representing automotive air-conditioning, electrical and cooling technicians - for its 2012 Wire and Gas Convention.
Ford has only once before welcomed an outside group to use the centre - the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia - but the carmaker says it is now working to showcase the facility's capabilities to suppliers and industry groups.
“Our facility is world-class and we’re keen to promote its features beyond Ford,” ACART Environmental Wind Tunnel supervisor, Steven Pohlner.
“Not only does it help build Ford’s capability as an innovative and progressive manufacturer, we have the facilities to help external customers too,” Pohlner said.
Conceived as a joint project between Ford and the University of Melbourne, ACART opened in 2009, and its Environmental Wind Tunnel was used extensively in the development of the new EcoBoost Falcon.
Ford says the wind tunnel, which is the largest of the three facilities at ACART, is one of the leading technically-capable facilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
The state-of-the-art laboratory can replicate conditions ranging from -40ºC to +55ºC and wind and road speeds of up to 250km/h. The facility also has the capability to simulate solar loading of up to 1200W/m² and generate humidity up to 95 percent.