Toronto: Ford said it is using the same thermal imaging technology that security forces use in order to detect and repair air leaks in its autos. This is to reduce the sound level inside the vehicle to provide its customer a quieter ride.

"We are using thermal imaging to further improve quietness so customers can enjoy the other features our vehicles offer, such as audio systems and even the sound of silence," William Dedecker, Ford's noise, vibration and harshness engineering supervisor, said.

The US manufacturer has been using infrared cameras in its Research and Innovation Center at Dearborn for nine months, said Dedecker.

In a demonstration presented by Ford during a recent EFE visit to Dearborn, company engineers filled the interior of a vehicle with hot air, up to a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius, to spot with an infrared camera the hottest points on the vehicle's bodywork.

Those hot spots indicate air leaks from inside the auto, which in practice raise the sound level inside.

Ford says it is the first automaker to use this infrared technology to detect air leaks and consequently the holes and openings in the bodywork.

Before applying this technology, Ford employed more "rudimentary" methods, such as filling the vehicle with smoke in order to find air leaks, and even listening with medical stethoscopes to hear the whistle of escaping air.

Closing the holes and openings also improves the efficiency of heating and air conditioning inside the car.


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