Vehicle Indoor Air Quality (VIAQ)

Optimizing the vehicle indoor air quality
© Fraunhofer IBP
By optimizing the quality of the air in the interior, the well-being and comfort of the vehicle occupants can be increased.

Vehicle interior air quality (VIAQ) is a must when it comes to the comfort and well-being of vehicle passengers

Three sources are mainly responsible for the odors and air quality inside a vehicle (Vehicle Interior Air Quality):

  • Emissions from the plastic components in the vehicle interior
  • Emissions from the passengers
  • Substances getting inside the vehicle from the environment via the ventilation system

Thus, three main areas can be identified for improving the air quality in vehicle interiors:

  • Use of low-emission and low-odor materials in the interior
  • Use of efficient air filters for vehicle interiors
  • Intelligent ventilation settings (especially the choice between fresh air mode and recirculated air mode)

In all three areas, our experts at Fraunhofer IBP can help you optimize the air quality and comfort inside your vehicle. Get in touch with us, tell us about your problem and, together with you, we will find a suitable solution.  

Our key areas of expertise:

Analysis of the interior air in vehicles - material emissions and odors in the vehicle interior

The topic concerning the quality of the air inside vehicles is often referred to by the term Vehicle Interior Air Quality, or VIAQ for short. The concentrations of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the vehicle interior are recorded as part of a measurement of the complete vehicle, determination of the interior air quality and measurement of emissions from the components. The tests we carry out are based on common standards (e.g. ISO 12219-1 and -7, GB/T 27630-2011). We also perform tests according to manufacturer specifications. If any abnormalities are identified, we can carry out further emission measurements on the components and make an odor evaluation of the vehicle in order to identify the source of the emissions or odors.


Efficiency of air filters for vehicle interiors

As part of the VIAQ test, we can test the efficiency of such air filters on our filter test bench and in the vehicle. We use a broad selection of pollutants:

  • VOCs: Addition of gaseous and liquid substances
  • Inorganic gases, such as ozone, nitrogen oxides
  • Fine dust, particulate matter PM, ultra-fine particles UFP: e.g. solids (including ISO A2 dust), saltwater aerosols
  • Biological substances, e.g. pollen, viruses which are non-pathogenic to humans

Impact of ventilation settings on indoor air quality

In the IATC, the Indoor Air Test Center, the effect of ventilation settings on indoor air quality in vehicles can be reproducibly recorded. The IATC consists of a complete vehicle test chamber and a special supply air system, via which a variety of pollutants can be added to the supply air in a controlled manner in order to generate a reproducible pollutant atmosphere. Simultaneous measurement of pollutant concentrations in the vehicle cabin and in the overall vehicle test chamber can be used to determine the effect of the ventilation setting or sensor-based ventilation control system on the quality of the air inside the vehicle. Thus, we have a wide range of tools at our disposal for optimizing automatic ventilation controls in vehicles.