Comprehensive Understanding of Temperature and Humidity Chamber

Temperature And Humidity Chambers (also referred to as climate or climatic test chambers) are used to simulate the impact which a range of humidity and temperature conditions will have on a material or product, for instance solar panels or electric cables that are exposed to humidity conditions and outdoor temperatures. They are also used in industries such as semiconductors, military quality assurance, and food science.

A sound temperature and humidity chamber is vital in the evaluation of possible resistance or failure of a material or product in their operating environment. There are different sizes of climate test chambers ranging from a little box which can be placed on a bench to a large size chamber for huge objects or for simultaneously running tests on large batches of materials and products.

The available temperature range is from -73 degrees centigrade to 190 degrees centigrade and relative humidity range is from 10 to 98%. The test chambers can also be used when there is need for constant climatic conditions (humidity and/or temperature) for product or material testing.

Temperature and humidity test chambers are available in a variety of sizes as standard products to meet your needs. The test chambers are sometimes used for accelerated stress testing, basic temperature cycling, and steady-state stability testing.

 

What is Temperature and Humidity Testing?

Temperature and humidity testing is a general term. It is a manufacturing and engineering generalization for many experiments that are environmentally stressful such as temperature cycling testing, moisture resistance testing, and high/low temperature testing. It also includes procedures such as temperature humidity bias testing.

This test determines how individual components, complete systems, and manufactured products behave or perform in normal and extreme environmental conditions. The extreme variations are usually in temperature and humidity. Other environmental factors such as vibration, corrosion, dust, sand, also fall under the kind of testing.

Temperature and humidity testing is done to determine how systems, components, and materials perform in extreme environments characterized by high temperatures and elevated or changing relative humidity. Such tests can be stable with definite temperature and humidity; it can also involve the fluctuation of both. The test can be a temperature-humidity bias test (whereby a failure in electrical devices is induced by moisture) or a combination of all of these.

Generally speaking temperature and humidity testing studies the impact of changes in climate on electronic parts such as material degradation, water tightness failures, optical failures (e.g. fogging), failure as a result of changes in parameters, mechanical failures (as a result of frost formation or rapid water), etc.

Temperature and humidity testing are a vital part of a total qualification program. A lot of electrical components, those affordable to purchase may be costly to replace. For example, an LCD on a marine instrument or an oil exploration device can lead to severe down time costs where there is a temperature or humidity related failure. A combined temperature and humidity testing also applies to finished products and complete systems that go beyond electronic components: computers, copiers, satellites, automobiles, and even parachutes, all need temperature and humidity testing.

In the manufacturing and engineering world today, it is not enough to just design, manufacture and sell products and systems. Manufacturers have to ensure that their products will resist all environmental stresses and pressures they will be exposed to when they are sent to the end user.

Temperature and humidity are two of the major factors that determine the durability of a product. Today, there are advanced temperature and humidity test chambers available to all manufacturers and designers to guarantee optimal performance of products.

Humidity testing and temperature testing go hand-in-hand. On earth, these 2 environmental factors cannot be avoided, except in a vacuum which simulates the conditions that exist in outer space. Every manufactured product from electronic components to military munitions in the terrestrial environment will experience a vast range of humidity and temperature conditions some of which might be extreme.

Changes in the environment such as humidity and temperature, heavily influences the performance of manufactured products. It could either be exterior conditions whereby weather conditions alter with seasonal changes or artificial environments where products are influenced by room conditions.

Professional tests for temperature and humidity, takes all these interactions into account; and the testing is done to improve the service life and durability of products and materials. The manufacturing industry makes use of temperature and humidity testing to obtain a correct view of how products will behave in any environment. Such process helps to establish the reliability of products as well as guarantee compliance with regulations.

 

How it is done

There are 2 forms of basic environmental testing. The temperature and humidity testing has 2 categories, namely, simulation and stimulation testing.

Simulation:

In this type of test, the test chambers artificially mimic or simulate conditions which products are likely to experience in their real working situations. Environmental testing for normal use is a benchmark whereby normally expected factors such as vibrations, abrasives, humidity, temperature, are examined. If the products satisfy the routine benchmark, they are certified and delivered for production and sale.

 

Stimulation:

This testing method or procedure is a step higher than routine simulation. Here, environmental factors are increased to reveal failure points and weaknesses in the product. The stimulation of extreme factors such as accelerated moisture and temperature confirms the ability of a product to resist environmental factors which are above and beyond what they will experience during their service life. Testing stimulation is also referred to as accelerated testing.

Although a lot of procedures for product testing focus primarily on humidity and temperature, many testing chambers also carry out additional testing. Vibration testing usually follows basic temperature and humidity testing. Ingress, contraction, expansion, and leakage actions usually result in complicated problems when in combination with physical vibrations. When combined, the three stressors lead to products losing their mechanical strength due to swelling, cracking, displacing, and other physical properties. These stressors combine to produce premature failure and fatigue.