Friday, 17 April 2015

!NEW! April Showers No Match for Buick’s New Convertible

Water tests simulate record rainfall to ensure Cascada’s watertight seal

How does Buick ensure the 2016 Cascada convertible will stay dry when April showers come calling? By making it rain on the assembly line, assuring cloudbursts will be no match for Cascada when it hits dealerships in early 2016.

“Convertibles are best enjoyed when it’s warm and sunny, but Cascada has been designed and engineered to be used year-round, regardless of the weather,” said John Dolch, program quality manager for Cascada. “Not only is Cascada’s top engineered to be weatherproof in extreme conditions, but each and every Cascada built will also be put through a rigorous water test.”

Specialized water test booths, located at the end of Cascada’s assembly line, will allow freshly built cars to roll off the line and into testing. Each booth has no fewer than 124 individual nozzles, which will quickly immerse the Cascada in a miniature rainstorm for 10 minutes.

Each 2016 Buick Cascada built will undergo extensive water testing as part of the production process, ensuring the interior remains watertight in inclement weather.
Each nozzle emits 1.9 gallons of water every minute. Cascada’s test is designed to produce nearly the equivalent of 1.23 inches of rain in a minute, which matches a world record set in Unionville, Md. in 1956.

Additionally, two Cascadas will be randomly selected daily to undergo another water test, known as the “deluge.” While this test is designed to last only eight minutes, each nozzle blasts roughly three gallons of water each minute.

Much like actual rain clouds, Cascada’s water testing booths are also part of a water cycle. While nearly 132,000 gallons of water – or nearly 5,500 full bathtubs – will be used daily, only 1.5 percent of that volume is lost to evaporation. The other 98.5 percent of the water used will be collected, filtered and recycled for use in later tests.

These tests may seem extreme, but they’re especially important given April showers are more than an old proverb. As winter gives way to spring, rain showers are bound to splash cities across the U.S. with more than a little precipitation.

“Typically, April sees weather patterns bring in more moisture from the Gulf, especially in the eastern half of the United States,” said Jim Piro and Allan Reppert, AccuWeather climatology supervisor and meteorologist, respectively. “Rainfall for the spring looks to be wet along much of the East Coast, from New York south into northern Florida, and stretching along the Gulf Coast into eastern Texas.”

Some spring showers may take drivers by surprise on an otherwise sunny day, but Cascada engineers came prepared. Its power-folding top will be fully deployed in as little as 17 seconds, and at speeds up to 31 mph.

Beginning in early 2016, Cascada owners in arid corners of the U.S. may not have to worry about facing those showers, but they may still appreciate the result of these tests.

“Chances are good you’ll still clean the car with a pressure washer, or run it through an automated car wash,” Dolch said. “The same watertight concerns will still apply, even under clear blue skies.”

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