As it turns out, diaper material makes the perfect fake snow. Who knew?
That’s the discovery Nicholas Jahn, GM Vehicle Thermal Systems engineer made last summer when his daughter’s diaper multiplied in size when she went for a swim. After further investigation Jahn found that the absorbent material found in diapers starts as a powder, but turns into a snow-like material once it comes in contact with water. Jahn realized this could help him determine a solution to a problem the engineers have faced for years.
When snow gets packed at the bottom of the windshield, it obstructs the flow of air into the heating system and reduces the amount of heat the car is able to put out. In order to test and resolve this issue in the past, GM engineers would have had to find real snow (a lot of it, and often) or find an open time slot at one of GM’s climatic wind tunnels.
Instead, Jahn was able to pack the reusable snow into the air inlet vents, start the Chevy Cruze, and let it idle. After several minutes, he removed the inlet panel and inspected how much of the material was sucked into the system.
“The last thing anyone wants to do when it’s freezing cold out is scrape their windshield,” said Nicholas Jahn, GM Vehicle Thermal Systems engineer in a news release. “The testing we perform on the Chevrolet Cruze with the diaper material allows us to maximize the car’s heating capabilities.”
Here at Boose Chevrolet, we are thrilled that Chevy’s diaper discovery could mean more efficient heating in our cars. Especially after the temperatures in the last several days. Brrr.