Whole-Vehicle Corrosion Testing and the Electric Car

HORIBA MIRA Corrosion Testing

Corrosion controls have improved hugely in recent times due to advances in vehicle protection systems and body-in-white design. But corrosion testing is as valuable now as ever – and not doing so can be a very costly mistake.

David Blanchard, Team Leader for Performance and Durability at HORIBA MIRA, explains: “With the increasing amount of electrification going into vehicles today it’s no surprise we have already run both hybrid and full electric vehicles on our corrosion test, with more planned for 2020.

“Body in white (BIW) light weighting and the integration of new powertrains and electric systems presents new corrosion risks and issues for the manufacturer to become fully aware of through testing.

“Our testing accelerates one year’s severe corrosion life into just two weeks. Due to the very aggressive nature of the tests the vehicle spends a significant amount of time driving through splash troughs and at elevated temperature and humidity.”

David adds: “Corrosive conditions can cause reliability issues for electric vehicles unless the systems are adequately protected. Any interruption to a low voltage system can cause a communication error that could lead to the high voltage system shutting down. It is therefore vitally important that any interruption to the 12v system as a result of corrosion or other ingress issue is stopped or it can lead to a walk home functional loss for the customer.”

Since 2015 HORIBA MIRA has produced its own corrosion standards for whole vehicles simulating the aggressive environments which can be seen around the globe. As a result, it has seen a growth in customer demand for corrosion testing.

David adds: “The service can also be tailored to the different corrosion environments a vehicle manufacturer might sell into. This is vitally important as corrosion protection adds lots of cost into a vehicle platform, so if you only intend to sell your product into a non-severe territory you require a validation option for that scenario.

“The corrosion service that the durability team offers doesn’t just include running the tests and reporting results but also design consultancy.  Each test activity can offer a full design review based on test results including teardown of the BIW.”

Click here to learn more about HORIBA MIRA’s corrosion facility.