For years, environmental test chambers is being used to study items with innumerable applications in departments of AI, aerospace, electronics, automobile, medical, solar cell, industrial and consumer research. Under these testing, the material has to be tested to different variations of environmental aspects to know the effects and use it as preparation for future studies.
The conditions which the environmental test chamber can copy are: temperature setting (or variations), moisture either in rain or humidity form, vibration, salt spray, electromagnetic radiation, weathering, exposure to sunlight, vacuum and ultraviolet degradation. The kind of testing involves selection of chamber type. The chambers are available in different sizes and are designed with plethora of options and functionality.
The sample or material is kept inside the chamber and then passed through defined stages of environmental stimuli to know the extent to which they react. The end results are studied and analyzed.
Kinds of chambers
The temperature or humidity chamber is used to do climate testing and the vibration and stress chambers are used for mechanical testing. It assesses the performance of the products at the time of shock or vibration. Stress is evaluated with vacuum or pressure variable.
You can use the stress and vibration chambers for solar cell, electronics and automobiles as the test requisitions here are demanding. The aim is to push beyond what is normal to gauge the limitations of the material.
The HAL test is done to know the prospective flaws and eventually to improve the product in its design phase. The chamber will simulate different stimuli, like voltage, vibration, humidity, thermal cycling that can cause several weaknesses in production or design.
Also, a compliance test known as HASS is done at the time of production to know the flaws before commercialization. The tests use humidity and temperature tests to know any potent defects.
Environmental test chambers for production has been in used for years and is able to create stress which are more than what is considered normal for the products.
The environmental test chambers are designed in number of ways like walk-in, reach in or drive-in, bench-top or mount configurations. As per the function, they are designed to perform, they vary in sizes from portable varieties to giant rooms like the one of NASA vacuum chamber in the Space Power Facility.
The most common used chambers are floor mounted and bench-top chambers. They are major made of steel and the material used in the outer and inner wall differ as per the application. If used for food packaging or medicinal applications, the chamber should have glass doors to see easily. The chambers application also affects the heating, cooling, evaporation, condensing, sensors and controllers usage. The latest test chambers keep pace with development in product testing requisitions such as those needed in military and biological needs. The chambers are designed to meet all the environmental testing requisitions and the measurement devices are purely reliable and fully accurate.
The newer designs have smaller footprints and are simple to operate. The interface is just like touch-screen Windows. If they are web-supported, they can be operated online also.
Applications of Environmental Test Chamber
The environmental chambers is used to test products for industries like automobile, electronics, medicinal, metal, construction material, cosmetics, chemicals, plastic, engineering, food and drinks, plant and insect growth and development, human and animal medication, biotech, textile, aerospace, packaging industry, microbiology, bio-tissue engineering, tobacco, timber, etc.
When you talk about food, cosmetic, pharmaceuticals, environmental chamber monitoring is very essential to abide by the rules set by international regulation companies. The Environmental chambers can gauge and control temperature, humidity, variety of pressure, particle count, gas level and lighting.
With microbiology and biology, the chambers are used to monitor the impact of humidity, light and other aspects which affect the growth of plants, insects, bacteria, algae and other microorganisms. They allow the culture of cells, tissues, organs and insect and plant growth.
The aerospace segment relies on environmental testing to product thermal vacuum and carry out thermal experiments similar to outer space conditions so that they may know that the hardware can withstand the outer space climate and pressure conditions. The life support systems for astronauts are testing with it. Oxygen system, all the instruments and cryogenic equipment can test effects of lower pressure and height situations.
The automotive industry relies on the environmental chamber to see the effect of hot roads and extreme sunlight exposure. All car companies perform these tests and most of them have drive-in chambers in the facility. The create real world conditions with humidity level, wind speed, normal air temperature and check the performance of the car under normal and extreme conditions.
It clearly states the role of environmental test chambers in the development and appraisal of the performance and specs of almost all products in the market.