GM opens wind tunnel for reduced scale clay models

Technology 4 Dec 2015
GM opens wind tunnel for reduced scale clay models

General Motors has opened a $30 million, 5,000-square-foot Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel facility for aerodynamically testing clay models up to 40 percent of the scale of a vehicle. 


Located in the company’s Technical Center, the new 3It is equipped with a conveyor-style rolling road system that simulates real-world highway driving conditions up to a top speed of 155 mph.

Testing reduced-sized vehicles on a simulated road allows GM aerodynamic engineers to reduce wind drag in a full-size vehicle design.

Advanced 3D printing machines create underbodies and engine blocks that are detailed and to scale for the reduced sized clay models.

Working suspensions with spinning wheels allow aerodynamic engineers to better examine how airflow affects a vehicle’s underbody while in motion, resulting in quieter cars and trucks that can cost customers less to operate.

GM Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel

The new aerodynamic test facility is located next to GM’s full-scale wind tunnel that has been in operation since 1980. Together, the facilities give GM a competitive advantage in testing capacity and capabilities.

GM Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel

The original full-scale wind tunnel will be upgraded next year with its own full-scale rolling road system and other improvements.

GM Reduced Scale Wind Tunnel

(Source: GM)

Image Gallery

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