The winds of progress flow through Windshear’s impressive Concord, NC, testing facility on a daily basis. The 180-mph rolling-road wind tunnel is the first of its kind in North America, and only the third in existence worldwide. Available for lease to motorsports teams and auto manufacturers, the roadway can test fluid dynamics important to the design of racing vehicles, such as spray patterns, drag, tire performance, and fuel efficiency.
The building contains three delineated areas that contain the test cell and control room, customer prep areas, and administrative offices. The test section of the facility has a foundation of heavily reinforced, cast-in-place concrete, with elevated structural slabs and walls. The administrative and control building uses a combination of load-bearing masonry and structural steel frame, with metal roof decking.
The wind tunnel and rolling road offer stable and repeatable conditions for testing in a highly secure and private environment. Security passes and private work bays help ensure the confidentiality of Windshear’s clients. Each work bay is a secure concrete-block structure with a private restroom, kitchenette, desk, work bench, private telephone, wireless Internet, flat-screen TV, set-up plate, and air/power tools.
The test section provides constant air speeds up to 180 mph, with temperatures controlled to within 1ºF. The road and airflow can accelerate from zero to 180 mph in less than one minute. A continuous stainless steel belt serves as the road, measuring one millimeter thick and incorporating sensors that measure the aerodynamic down force under each tire.
A private transfer corridor brings test vehicles to the Windshear test section. Clients can supervise the entire operation through a full-width window in the control room. The data from each test run is sent securely to a client’s computer for analysis.
The ABC of the Carolinas gave the Windshear facility its “Excellence in Construction” award for the project’s superior innovation, quality of construction and safety performance. Additionally, Discovery Channel Canada has profiled the facility in its show Daily Planet.
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