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vehicle testing site set up in Xinjiang2019-08-05 09:22:26

Work on the world’s largest site to test automobiles in ultra­dry and ultra­hot conditions has been com­pleted in Northwest China’s Xinji­ang Uygur autonomous region and is expected to bring in returns of more than 100 million yuan ($14.5million) every year, officials said.

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Located in a windy zone of Tur­pan, China’s hottest region, the test site, which is the size of 3,270 stan­dard soccer pitches, has been built by China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group (CTCE) for the SAIC (Shang­hai Automotive Industry Corp Group) Volkswagen joint venture.Day temperatures in Turpan, known as “the Oven” since ancient times, can reach up to 83 C in sum­mer, while the sparse rainfall in the region has resulted in an evapora­tion rate of over 3,000 millimeters.

The SAIC Volkswagen Xinjiang (Turpan) Test Center can test safety performances in an ultra­dry and ultra­hot environment for more than 1,200 fuel vehicles and 400 new energy vehicles every year, in addition to over 8,000 types of automobile components, accord­ing to CTCE Cyberspace Office Director Song Heng.

Speaking at the launch ceremo­ny of the test center on Thursday, CTCE Chairman Zhang Hechuan said the site, which took more than 1,000 days to build since June 2016, has passed the inspection and acceptance of German experts and local quality inspection depart­ ments, fulfilling CTCE’s commit­ments to the Sino­German joint venture and the local government.

The project is seen as a vital cogin China’s efforts to conduct auto­ mobile tests in high temperatures and ultra­dry conditions, and a major step in boosting automobile industry technologies. In addition it will also help promote the eco­nomic and social development in Xinjiang, he said.

Building the testing center in Turpan city, however, has been a challenging task. Located in the Turpan Basin, which is spread overan area of 500,000 square kilome­ters, the area is deep within the Tianshan Mountain range of east­ern Xinjiang, which has a changing landscape of deserts, gorges, sand dunes and wooded oases. It once served as a key point on the ancient Silk Road, and averaging 154 meters below sea level, Turpan is also the lowest point in China, sec­ond only in the world to the Dead Sea.

According to Sun Kai, a CTCE technician on the site, building such a test center was a daunting task as the strata had lots of sedi­mentary rock formations, while its surface was mainly saline­alkali deserts with an accumulation of thenardite, a sodium sulfate miner­al, seen largely in salt lakes and arid regions.

The engineers overcame the stiff geological challenges by using foundation treatment technologies in the saline­alkali areas, he said. The engineers also introduced 3D high­precision molding tech­nologies to ensure construction quality and precision, Sun said. By improving the hydraulic system for rolling equipment and leveling control systems for pavers, Chinese engineers were able to break the monopoly of Germany and Japan in high­speed ring paving, he said.