Think of all of the environmental and climatic conditions you can imagine – hot and cold, cloudy and sunny, rainy and snowy, humid and dry and any others that come to mind. We humans have managed to place ourselves in all manner of environmental conditions, and in order to survive and enjoy life in those conditions we’ve developed vast numbers of tools and amenities. As those tools become more advanced and complex, they also tend to become more sensitive and delicate. This is especially true of many of the electronic gadgets on which we have come to rely. Predicting how those devices will behave when exposed to different environments is an important step in the process of their design, and test chambers help us develop those predictions.
Product testing is one of several primary uses for environmental test chambers. Industry professionals have to anticipate the extent to which end users of their products tend to bonk, scratch, overheat, overcool or otherwise abuse their devices during the normal course of their use. Anticipating these hazards is part of mitigating their effects on product performance and longevity. Companies that can produce products that are resistant to hazards, once they have developed a reputation for that quality, are better positioned among consumers than are competitors without such reputations. Such companies can use test chambers to reproduce some of the hazards that their products are likely to face once in the hands of end users. A mobile phone manufacturer might, for example, subject a prototype to a test chamber that shakes, overheats, overcools and interferes with reception in order to determine the product’s resistance to those forces. The company can then either improve the product or warn consumers not to expose the product to such hazards.
As commerce becomes increasingly saturated with sensitive and complex electronic products, test chambers will also increase in their importance.