AMIL operates five cold chambers capable of simulating freezing rain, drizzle, fog, frost, snow and ice pellets. Height is the most important feature of the chambers, since it determines the duration of travel of water droplets in the cold air, and thus controls the extent of supercooling characteristic of cold precipitation. Cold chamber heights range from three to nine meters.
The WSET chamber is designed to simulate aircraft exposure to freezing fog in temperatures below 0°C. It is used to determine the in-laboratory endurance of aircraft ground de-icing and anti-icing fluids according to standard AS5901. This test is performed in a three-meter-high climate chamber at an air temperature of -5°C. A pneumatic nozzle sprays water droplets with a median volume diameter of 23 µm at an average icing intensity of 5.0 ± 0.2 g/dm²/h.
The WSET chamber is part of standard tests used for fluid qualification according to the AMS 1424 and 1428 specifications.
The HHET chamber is designed to simulate overnight exposure of an aircraft on the ground. It is used to determine the in-laboratory endurance of de-icing and anti-icing fluids according to standard AS5901. This test is performed in a three-meter-high climate chamber at an air temperature of 0°C and relative humidity > 80% RH, at an average frosting rate of 0.30 ± 0.05 g/dm²/h.
The HHET chamber is a part of standard tests for fluid qualification according to AMS1424 and 1428 specifications.
The snow chamber is used to make artificial snow by means of two pneumatic water spray nozzles supplied with water and compressed air. The nozzles produce very fine water droplets which become supercooled in cold air and freeze to form solid ice crystals on contact with a collection plate set on the chamber’s floor. Water flow and air pressure are adjusted to ensure an ice crystal density of 0.1 g/cm3. The snow is made at -20°C ± 5°C and its density is in the 0.1 to 0.3 g/cm3 range.
The nine-meter cold chamber (9.10 m high, 5.50 m long and 3.50 m wide) provides air temperature control between 0°C and -35°C with an accuracy of 0.5°C. Two types of precipitations are simulated in this chamber: freezing drizzle and freezing rain. Typical tests conducted in this chamber are: calibration of devices subjected to freezing precipitations (e.g. ice detectors, anemometers), performance evaluation of icephobic materials, and ice amplification measurement of rimed overhead cables due to torsion and wind.
The four-meter-high cold chamber is designed to simulate freezing drizzle precipitation. Typical tests carried out in these conditions include: runway de/anti-icing chemical performance tests, icephobic material tests, and aircraft fluid stability tests.