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Anechoic chamber enables acoustic testing at Fanshawe College


Fanshawe College in London ON opened the doors to its brand new Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV), representing a one-of a-kind facility in Canada (one of only three in the world). The expansive 25,000 square-foot, two-story centre houses ultramodern validation technologies for product prototyping and testing.

Seen from exterior, a vehicle within the Eckel anechoic chamber at the CCPV as observers learn about the chamber’s capabilities.

Seen from exterior, a vehicle within the Eckel anechoic chamber at the CCPV as observers learn about the chamber’s capabilities.

The CCPV opened its doors for business earlier this month and is fully operational, offering multimodal product testing to new and established companies of any size worldwide. Among those trappings is an Eckel Noise Control Technologies anechoic chamber that enables high quality noise performance testing.

The Eckel hemi-anechoic chamber is being used to assess the acoustic noise performance of products ranging from small medical devices to entire vehicles, as well as product components. It is the second largest chamber of its type in Ontario, and is rivaled in performance only by chambers located at automotive OEMs in Michigan, USA. Its dedicated air handling unit and vehicle exhaust extraction system allow vehicles to idle during noise tests. And, while the isolated floor was designed to support vehicles weighing up to 21 tons, the CCPV actually tested it to 32.5 tons—reporting that the room, doors and floor remained perfectly balanced.

Interior of Eckel anechoic chamber at the CCPV.

Interior of Eckel anechoic chamber at the CCPV.

“The Eckel chamber will also be used to develop new product-focused validation protocols and methodologies,” says Dr. John Makaran, P.Eng., director of the CCPV. “We are hopeful that our activities will advance the manner in which products are evaluated, including the progress of noise performance testing.”

“The CCPV represents the absolute cutting edge of product testing and validation. The fact that it chose one of our anechoic chambers to handle its noise performance testing is a huge honor. It signifies that our chambers offer the ultimate in custom-engineered acoustic testing and research structures,” adds Eckel vice-president Jeff Morse.

The internal dimensions of the hemi-anechoic chamber are 30 ft. long by 25 ft. wide and 14 ft. high. The chamber has a 100 Hertz cutoff, and the maximum background noise level within the chamber is 14-20dB. It has been qualified to ISO 3744 using broad band noise and ISO 3745 using broad band noise and pure tones.

CCPV will perform testing for new or improved products

The CCPV will perform testing for new or improved products primarily in the thermal, mechanical, electrical and environmental areas of the aerospace, automotive, consumer goods, medical, military and renewable energy sectors. It can provide services on a fee-for-service basis, or access government funding to help a company develop new products. The CCPV is equipped not only to test products to known specifications, but also to determine a product’s functional limits, analyze the product relative to a variety of protocols outside the standard test specifications, and more. In addition, the CCPV can perform tasks such as pre-development market studies as well as post-development commercialization activities.

“The types of product testing we provide, combined with the business bookend activities we offer, position the CCPV as a leading and pioneering venture essential to product innovation and development,” says Makaran. “And with our value-add capabilities, our clients benefit from the creation of customized test equipment and methodologies designed just for them.”

The CCPV is a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary of Fanshawe College and is located off-campus in the City of London, Ontario’s Advanced Manufacturing Park. Fanshawe students will gain meaningful and relevant learning experiences through co-op placements and internships at the CCPV, as well as through applied research projects for industry clients involving both faculty and students.