Leading Environmental Test Chamber Manufacturers

An environmental chamber is an enclosure used to test the effects of a variety of conditions on a product, component, part, or assembly. These highly technical pieces of equipment are capable of simulating the types of conditions a product may face while in use. Read More…

Environmental Test Chambers Environmental test chambers, also known as climate chambers or climatic chambers, are controlled, artificial spaces that recreate environmental conditions.

Russells Technical Products has been designing and manufacturing environmental test chambers since 1972. With over 150 years of combined management experience, our company provides its customers with quality environmental test systems and advanced manufacturing techniques. Russells offers a variety of standard and custom designed chambers to meet your exact specifications.

Russells Technical Products $$$

We are leading environmental test chamber brand with over 78 years of experience designing environmental testing solutions. Over the years we have developed products for ease-of-use, reliability and performance designed to meet our customer’s testing needs and improve the safety and reliability of their products. We have a legacy of providing high quality solutions for temperature, humidity,...

Cincinnati Sub-Zero (CSZ) $$$

A pioneer since 1962, Thermotron has been building the most recognizable environmental test equipment in the industry. Every chamber and shaker sold is handcrafted in West Michigan and comes with an intuitive controller. From automotive and defense, to electronics and medical industries, Thermotron has helped companies small and large create more reliable products. When you need to know whether...

Thermotron Industries $$$

As a leader in the test chamber industry we believe our systems are ideal for your company. We manufacture models that come standard with many useful features for testing applications. We believe that our advanced technologies are essential to the reliability of our products and our quality customer service is perfect for your needs. Feel free to visit our website or give us a call to learn more!

Weiss Technik $$$

Hastest Solutions designs, manufactures and provides solutions for all environmental testing needs. For the full range of environmental test chambers, including HAST, temp/humidity, salt fog, solar radiation, high temp ovens, autoclave, and more.

Hastest Solutions $$$

Isotech specializes in state-of-the-art environmental test chambers. With our standard and custom test chambers we strive to offer our clients products that are specifically designed to fit their needs. Isotech offers technical specifications like copper screen enclosures, RF signals, and USC-26 and USC-44 series panels.

Isotech, Inc. $$$
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Environmental Chambers

Environmental Test Chamber

Chapter One – What is an Environmental Chamber?

An environmental chamber serves as a testing ground, simulating various conditions to assess how products, components, or assemblies might endure in real-world scenarios. These sophisticated devices use computer technology to orchestrate everything from rapid shifts in conditions to prolonged exposures, mirroring the challenges a product could face during its lifetime.

Testing protocols within the chamber are meticulously set to yield precise data on a product’s behavior under conditions that often surpass those it would typically encounter during use. This rigorous testing ensures that products are not only fit for everyday scenarios but also resilient enough to handle the extremes.

Thermal Shock Test Chamber

Environmental chambers offer manufacturers crucial insights that aid in enhancing their products and refining those currently available in the market. These sophisticated tools empower industries to create products with superior quality and durability.

Chapter Two – Different Types of Environmental Chambers

Environmental chambers are crafted in an array of sizes and styles to adapt to the evolving needs of industries. Typically, these chambers are engineered to conduct multiple tests within a single cycle, allowing for individual or simultaneous test executions as programmed.

Temperature and humidity tests stand as the most critical, primarily because these factors frequently lead to product malfunctions. With the versatility to simulate a spectrum of climatic conditions—from icy cold to sweltering tropics and even severe environments—environmental chambers are pivotal in creating and controlling these conditions to test product resilience.

Types of Environmental Chambers
Temperature Chambers

Temperature is often the main culprit behind product failures. Tests conducted in temperature chambers, known as thermostatic tests, assess a product’s endurance against temperature fluctuations. These chambers can generate a wide range of temperatures, from -94° F to over 356° F, to simulate various environmental conditions.

In these chambers, some tests maintain a consistent temperature gradient for extended periods—days or even weeks—while others swiftly alternate temperatures to evaluate how the product handles rapid changes.

Climatic Testing Chamber

Humidity Chambers

Humidity often plays the role of a hidden adversary in product durability, arising from moisture mingling with elevated temperatures. Typically, humidity test chambers work in tandem with temperature chambers, as warmth is essential to create moist conditions.

Like their temperature-focused counterparts, humidity chambers are versatile arenas for simulating various weather scenarios. They allow for experiments in a static environment, maintaining constant conditions, or in a dynamic setting, where conditions shift gradually or abruptly.

Temperature Humidity Test Chamber

Vibration Chambers

Vibration testing, often integrated into climatic assessments, employs mechanical or electrodynamic agitation. This shaking, which may occur vertically, horizontally, or along three distinct axes, is typically a component of the rigorous conditions simulated during product development.

As part of the process for evaluating a new product’s robustness, vibration testing is commonly incorporated into Highly Accelerated Life Tests (HALT) and Highly Accelerated Stress Screen (HASS). This method tests the product’s endurance under extreme conditions. It’s also standard practice to merge vibration testing with environmental evaluations, ensuring the product can withstand its usual operational environments.

Commercial Vibration Chamber

Stability Chambers

A stability test chamber serves as a controlled crucible, exposing products to varying conditions of temperature, humidity, and light to gauge their endurance over prolonged periods. Central to these chambers’ concerns is assessing a product’s shelf life, a key indicator of its durability and reliability through the varying rigors of transit and storage.

The world, as categorized by the International Conference on Harmonization (ICH), is split into five distinct climate zones. The testing parameters within a stability chamber are tailored to these zones, simulating the specific environmental conditions a product will face in its intended markets and transit routes. This alignment ensures that the settings in the stability chamber are meticulously calibrated to mirror real-world conditions as closely as possible.

Stability Walk-In Chamber

Salt Spray Chambers

A salt spray chamber generates a highly corrosive environment to evaluate the impact of prolonged exposure to salt-saturated substances. To maintain the correct salt spray concentration, the temperature in the chamber must remain stable. For optimal consistency, salt spray chambers are set to operate at 95°F.

Salt spray testing aims to assess the durability of coatings and finishes under corrosive conditions.

Corrosion Test Chamber

Thermal Shock Chambers

One of the key concerns for many products is their ability to withstand sudden changes in temperature and atmospheric conditions. When designing a product, engineers have a general idea of the conditions the product is expected to face. To get a clearer understanding of a product’s capabilities, it is crucial to simulate the probable conditions it might encounter.

To achieve this and gain deeper insights into proposed products, manufacturers subject them to thermal shock testing. This form of testing is the most intense and demanding of all the different types. It involves exposing a specimen to various environmental changes in rapid succession, with temperature variations of 54°F every minute or more. This type of testing is designed for applications that will endure rugged conditions.

Vacuum Chambers

A vacuum chamber generates a low-pressure environment by extracting air and other gasses from a sealed space. This testing aims to assess how a product or device operates in such a vacuum. It is essential for products used in the aerospace and defense sectors.

Vacuum chambers come in various sizes, from room-sized units to compact models that fit on a counter. Instruments, gauges, and components intended for aircraft and space vehicles must undergo testing in a vacuum chamber.

Vacuum Test Chamber

Altitude Chambers

An altitude test chamber is designed to assess how well a sample withstands low-pressure environments found at high altitudes. These chambers can replicate conditions up to 30,000 meters, incorporating decompression and explosive tests to simulate extreme scenarios.

Altitude Chamber

Anechoic Chambers

The term “anechoic” denotes the absence of echoes. An anechoic chamber, roughly the size of a room, is lined with materials that absorb sound and electromagnetic waves. These chambers not only contain waves within but also block external sounds from entering.

Blocking out sound ensures that external noises don’t interfere with test results. The goal of anechoic testing is to measure the noise produced by various products, such as cars, microwaves, buses, airplanes, and computers.

Anechoic Chamber

Chapter Three – Uses for Environmental Chambers

Before the mid-20th century, determining a product’s durability and lifespan relied on surveys, experimental groups, and exposure to local climatic conditions. These methods were time-consuming and delayed product launches. Sometimes, products reached the market without any testing, resulting in significant backlash.

The invention of environmental chambers revolutionized this process. Producers and manufacturers could now enhance product quality, ensuring better performance and durability.

Uses for Environmental Chambers

An environmental chamber is designed to simulate the conditions a product will face in real-world use. During the planning phase, engineers strive to forecast the durability and stability of their designs. These chambers enable them to test their predictions by recreating actual conditions, allowing for necessary adjustments and improvements.

Temperature Variations or Thermal Testing

Temperature is the leading cause of product failure, which is why most manufacturers test for its impact. Temperature test data reveals how much thermal stress a product can endure.

Humidity Testing

Humidity plays a crucial role in the deterioration of products. Moisture in any form can cause significant damage to various materials and substances. Humidity is particularly harmful because it combines the effects of both moisture and temperature.

Air Pressure Testing

Air pressure can fluctuate during the transportation of a product, whether by air or truck. To identify the air pressure levels a product can endure, it is tested under various conditions in an environmental chamber. The resulting data provides manufacturers with a baseline for customers and allows for necessary adjustments.

Thermal Shock Testing

Thermal shock testing is a type of temperature assessment where a product is swiftly exposed to varying temperature extremes in quick succession. Unlike standard temperature testing, which subjects the product to a single temperature for an extended duration, thermal shock testing forces rapid transitions between different temperatures. This method aims to identify issues related to expansion and contraction and determine the failure point of the product. It is regarded as the most rigorous among environmental tests.

Accelerated Aging Testing

The goal of an accelerated aging test is to establish a product’s specific lifespan. This test simulates the aging process by exposing the product to stress. Before the advent of environmental chambers, the aging process was evaluated by using a sample over prolonged periods. Now, test chambers expedite this process, offering data and estimates about the product’s longevity.

Xenon-Arc Testing

Xenon-arc testing involves subjecting a product to repeated radiation cycles to mimic the sunlight exposure it will face during regular use. This process utilizes a xenon-arc light, which generates illumination by transmitting electrical waves through high-pressure, ionized xenon gas. The outcome is a brilliant white light that closely approximates natural sunlight. This method is a part of accelerated aging tests.

Xenon Arc

UV Weathering Testing

UV weathering is a test used to evaluate how sunlight impacts a product over time. Prolonged exposure to solar radiation can lead to various effects, such as fading in clothing, weakening of plastics, and cracking of cement. This damage results from invisible rays known as electromagnetic radiation, specifically UV waves emitted by the sun.

Salt Spray or Corrosion Testing

Salt spray or corrosion testing evaluates how corrosion impacts a product’s performance. This test involves exposing samples to a high-concentration saline environment for a set duration. Products such as coatings, paints, and other materials likely to encounter corrosive conditions are typically tested.

Salt spray testing can also be part of the accelerated aging process by quickly applying the saline solution in a condensed timeframe.

Altitude Testing

The aim of altitude testing is to assess how high pressure and vacuum conditions impact a sample. In a typical environmental chamber, temperatures during an altitude test can vary from -85°F to 302°F at altitudes from -200 feet to over 100,000 feet. This type of testing is generally conducted for products intended for air transport or space programs.

Chapter Four – Industries That Use Environmental Chambers

Environmental test chambers have become indispensable in the industry. Manufacturers need precise data on their products’ reliability. The capacity of these chambers to quickly and efficiently create accurate, simulated environments has significantly benefited the development and testing of new products and services.

Every commercial, industrial, or household item faces various unique and extreme conditions. Factors like temperature, vibrations, and humidity can shorten a product’s lifespan or hinder its performance. Thus, manufacturers heavily depend on the data from environmental chambers to ensure their products meet expectations.

Industrial Use of Environmental Test Chambers


The automotive industry depends on test chambers in numerous ways. Small environmental chambers are used to evaluate small parts before they are assembled. Larger chambers are designed to test bigger components, such as assemblies and mechanisms, accommodating more parts for comprehensive testing. Finally, the fully assembled car undergoes testing to assess the interaction of all components.

The use of environmental test chambers in the auto industry has significantly enhanced the quality and longevity of vehicles.

Altitude Chill Climate Test Chamber


Electronic devices are particularly prone to malfunction because of environmental influences like moisture, humidity, and temperature fluctuations. To ensure their reliability under these conditions, environmental test chambers are employed. These chambers test the stability of electronic components such as integrated circuits (ICs), circuit boards, semiconductors, transducers, surge protectors, touch panels, switches, and various assemblies.

Microclimate Compact Environmental Chamber


Environmental test chambers play a crucial role in the pharmaceutical industry, mimicking the diverse temperature and humidity conditions that products will face. Beyond product testing, these chambers are vital for assessing the durability of packaging materials, which is essential for maintaining drug efficacy.

Compliance with numerous regulations, standards, and legal requirements is a fundamental aspect of pharmaceutical testing. Environmental chambers contribute significantly to product development by determining lifespan, shelf life, and the conditions that lead to degradation.

Stability Test Chamber


The military maintains a comprehensive set of standards outlining precise requirements for manufacturing equipment. These specifications, found under United States Military Standards, aim to guarantee the flawless performance of every product.

The primary focus when testing military equipment is its ability to withstand the harsh, hazardous, and demanding conditions of use. Ensuring product reliability is crucial for the safety of military personnel.



Similar to the pharmaceutical field, the medical industry adheres to stringent standards and requirements for the quality of products used in medical procedures and testing. Beyond typical specifications for quality, performance, and lifespan, there are strict regulations for sterility, tensile strength, and reliability, particularly for life-saving equipment.

The Food and Drug Administration mandates strict validation requirements for the monitoring and process control in the manufacturing of medical devices.


The American telecommunications research and development company Telcordia established the standards for the telecommunications industry. Telecommunications manufacturers adhere to these specifications to determine the exact standards for all their devices.

Telcordia standards provide precise testing guidelines for altitude, temperature, humidity, and other factors. The data gathered by Telcordia helps predict a product’s reliability and offers specific calculations to assess its potential effectiveness.

Telcordia Generic Requirement

Solar Energy

Environmental testing in the solar energy industry primarily revolves around assessing the durability of solar panels and photovoltaic modules, given their constant exposure to the elements. This testing includes various methods such as temperature cycling, damp heat, and humidity assessments. Standards for these tests are set by organizations like the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Solar Energy


The aerospace and aviation industries rely on environmental chambers to test atmospheric conditions, ensuring they meet the standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Key priorities for these industries include safety, reliability, and efficiency. To assess a product’s viability, it undergoes testing in an environmental chamber, where it faces thermal shock and various simulated atmospheric conditions.

Temperature Altitude Humidity Chamber

Chapter Five – Types of Environmental Chambers

Environmental chambers are tailored to accommodate any condition, location, or environment. They range in size from compact models that fit on a countertop to those as large as a building. The choice of an environmental chamber depends primarily on the product being tested and its spatial requirements.

Environmental chambers the size of large rooms or buildings are meticulously planned to cater to both the client’s requirements and the specific type of testing. Typically, these expansive chambers can conduct multiple types of tests and simulate a diverse range of climatic conditions.

Types of Environmental Chambers

Benchtop Environmental Chambers

Benchtop environmental chambers deliver precise and high-quality data akin to their larger counterparts, but with a more compact design that offers flexibility and cost savings. Despite their smaller size, they can incorporate the same advanced data-gathering technology as pricier models. These benchtop environmental chambers are perfect for university laboratories, small product companies, and testing small components and parts.

Benchtop Environmental Test Chamber

Reach-In Environmental Chambers

Reach-in environmental test chambers, similar in footprint to benchtop models, are floor-mounted and mobile, thanks to their wheeled design. Their vertical orientation allows easy relocation. Depending on the chosen style, these chambers can feature observation windows and a variety of monitoring and control devices for data collection.

These chambers are versatile, capable of conducting simple temperature or humidity tests, as well as performing a range of tests in one setup.

Reach In Growth Chamber

Walk-In Environmental Chambers

Walk-in test chambers represent an advanced category of testing facilities, available as pre-manufactured units for immediate installation or customizable to meet specific needs. They can be constructed using interconnected panels or welded panels, with the latter being the most prevalent and dependable option. These chambers come in numerous designs, tailored for either a single type of test or a series of tests.

Accessories for these chambers include access ports, heavy-duty floors, walls of varying thicknesses, noiseless operation, different door sizes, small or large windows, and a wide array of LCD control mechanisms.

Drive-In Environmental Chambers

Once all the individual components and assemblies of a vehicle are thoroughly tested, they undergo final testing as a fully assembled unit in a drive-in test chamber. These environmental chambers enable manufacturers to simulate various weather, atmospheric, and environmental conditions that the vehicle might face throughout its lifetime.

Given the significant investment involved, drive-in environmental chambers are custom-designed to meet the specific needs of the customer, incorporating features tailored to their requirements. Typically, these chambers can perform a comprehensive array of environmental tests, including high-altitude testing, rain exposure, humidity, corrosion resistance, and extreme temperature evaluations.

Drive-In Environmental Chamber

Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT) Environmental Chambers

A HALT test chamber subjects a sample to extreme stress through thermal dwells, rapid temperature changes, vibrations, and combinations of these tests. The goal is to push the sample to its breaking point, exposing weaknesses that may not appear under normal conditions.

The data gathered identifies the sample’s failure limits, helping to pinpoint weak points for adjustments and improvements. This accelerated testing method quickly reveals failures, which would take much longer to detect with standard testing techniques.


High Accelerated Stress Testing (HASS) Environmental Chambers

The HASS test typically follows the HALT test and is more stringent and challenging. It involves thermal cycling combined with vibration testing to identify defects in a sample. This process is repeated several times until faults are detected in the product. The goal is to drive the sample to failure, allowing engineers to make necessary corrections.

Environmental Chamber Assembly

While environmental chambers are tailored to meet the specific requirements of the product being tested, they all share fundamental features in their construction.

  • Door – The test chamber doors are securely sealed using gasket materials, which can range from flexible plastics to different types of rubber.
  • Insulation – The essential aspect of test chambers is their sealing capability. This is accomplished through the use of insulation materials in the doors and walls.
  • Walls – The test chambers feature a sturdy steel exterior paired with a stainless steel interior, ensuring the testing environment remains uncontaminated.
  • Windows – Test chamber windows are typically constructed from a transparent polymer and feature double panes.
  • Controllers and Monitors – Controllers and monitors are essential components of an environmental chamber. These devices come in various types, some offering remote access and USB ports. They play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining the chamber’s predetermined conditions.

Chapter Six – Environmental Chamber Regulations

Given the widespread applications of environmental chambers across various industries, compliance with industry-specific regulations, standards, requirements, and laws is imperative. Particularly in the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, adherence to testing chamber protocols is overseen by governmental and regulatory agencies.

The pharmaceutical industry is overseen and regulated by several key agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Pharmaceutical Discussion Group (PDG). These agencies enforce standards for testing conditions’ sterility, packaging, and the shelf life of drugs and medical instruments.

Regulations governing the medical industry parallel those for pharmaceuticals but extend to encompass standards set by bodies like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). These organizations offer guidelines specifically tailored to testing industrial, scientific, and medical equipment.

The United States Military Standards (MIL-STD) delineate the necessary protocols for testing military equipment, encompassing precise directives for both testing procedures and limitations. With each new military equipment development, corresponding testing standards are formulated to ensure compliance and efficacy.

The auto industry adheres to standards set by organizations such as the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM), the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and Underwriters Laboratories (UL). The specificity of these regulations and requirements varies according to each organization’s objectives. Government oversight is provided by the Department of Transportation (DOT), which establishes vehicle safety standards, further enforced by state-level transportation departments.

The electronics industry is overseen by key organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Joint Electron Device Council (JEDEC), and the Association Connecting Electronics (IPC). These bodies define the specific types, schedules, and thresholds for testing electronic products.

The telecommunications sector has been shaped by Telcordia Standards, serving as its foundational principles. Alongside Telcordia, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), a division of EIA, plays a pivotal role.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a private organization where members collaborate to establish standards for products, services, processes, and systems. Their primary goal is to uphold consistent product performance across industries and manufacturers.

These organizations are among the key groups dedicated to overseeing product testing in a structured and systematic manner, aiming to safeguard both the public and manufacturers. These groups can vary from country-specific to international, depending on the product’s market impact.


  • An environmental chamber is a sealed space designed for assessing how different conditions impact a product, component, part, or assembly.
  • The testing stipulations and requirements are pre-established to ensure the product undergoes evaluation under real-world conditions, providing accurate performance data reflective of its expected use scenarios.
  • Environmental chambers vary widely in size and design to adapt to the evolving needs of different industries.
  • Since the advent of environmental chambers, producers and manufacturers have honed their ability to enhance product quality, offering improved performance and durability.
  • Environmental chambers must adhere to the specific regulations, standards, requirements, and laws relevant to their respective industries due to their widespread application across various sectors.

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Environmental Test Chambers Informational Video


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