Environmental testing is the measurement of the performance of equipment under specified environmental conditions. Chambers are used to simulating a full range of temperature testing and humidity testing conditions. There are many types of chambers, including 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.
Environmental chambers allow for control over various conditions. In order to be released a product must be able to operate in a wide variety of environments, both storage and operational. Testing allows designers to take environmental factors and standards into consideration. Environmental testing is important to understand the longevity of a product and to understand if they meet or exceed safety standards and requirements.
Environmental 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.
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.
Test chambers vary in size and can be custom-built for unique needs. Chambers can fit on a counter or be designed as walk-in chambers the size of small rooms. 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.
Test chambers 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 Refrigeration Institute
● ASTM International
● Underwriters Laboratories
● NSF International
● FM Global
● Canadian Standards Association
● International Organization for Standardization