testing is the measurement of the performance of equipment under specified
environmental conditions. The chambers simulate a full range of temperature
testing and humidity testing conditions. Some chambers even account for
corrosion through the introduction of salt spray into the chamber.
Environmental testing chambers include salt spray test chamber, high and
low-temperature test chamber, constant temperature and humidity test chamber,
ultraviolet aging test chamber, xenon lamp aging test chamber, ozone aging test
chamber and ovens. The main function of an environmental test chamber is to see
how products handle operating in various environments.
chambers allow for control over various conditions. For release, the product
must be able to operate in a wide variety of environments, both storage and
operational. During the design phase, analysis can be performed to help
determine a product’s ability to meet each of these environments. During the testing
phase, the product is taken through environmental tests to see if it can
withstand certain pre-set expectations and standards. If the product does not
meet a certain environmental specification, or if the margins between the
specification and the actual product operation are deemed not sufficient, then
the failure must be analyzed and the product must be made more robust.
tests can test altitude, explosive atmosphere, fluid compatibility, fungus,
ice/freezing, rapid and explosive decompression, salt fog, sand and dust, solar
radiation exposure, temperature and humidity, wind, waterproofness and
immersion, and life cycle testing. Environmental testing is important to
understand the longevity of a product and to understand if they meet or exceed
safety standards and requirements.
How it works
Humidity in the
test chamber can be simulated by evaporation of water with a heat source or
with ultrasound technology. Water vapor can be introduced using a steam
generator. Refrigeration systems are used to cool the environment.
vary in size, sometimes being as large as a small room or as small as a
countertop device. Generally, test
chambers have viewports or video feeds that allow for ease of monitoring. Some
chambers allow for reach-in openings that allow for sample testing.
must follow several organizational standards and guidance in construction,
temperature control standards, and engineering tolerances. Including:
• Institute of Environmental
Sciences and Technology
• Air Conditioning, Heating and
• ASTM International
• Underwriters Laboratories
• NSF International
• FM Global
• Canadian Standards Association
• International Organization for
Things to consider
It is important
to consider how the chambers will be used when considering a testing service.
Every chamber has a different standard temperature range, some getting as high
as 500F and low as -30F. The size of the product tested should also be taken
into consideration. Safety standards require approximately 1/3 product and 2/3 empty space to allow for adequate air flow. It is also important to disclose
the type of material tested for the manufacture of the chamber. This allows
them to determine the right fit, or a custom builds a chamber. When using a
testing service, it is important to consider their capabilities. Manufactures
of chambers bring in expertise, as well as the ability to adapt and customize a