5 Important Considerations for Starting a New Testing Project
The world today continually demands new and innovative solutions for real‐world problems. We are proud of the opportunity to be a part of product innovation for many companies across various industries by providing environmental testing solutions.
Our test chambers are used not only in the research and development process, but also in the design verification and validation processes. This insight has granted us a unique viewpoint of the development process and given us the opportunity to share 5 considerations which are critical to any new testing project.
1. Material Type
If you are considering buying an environmental test chamber, you already know different materials respond to heat and cold differently. But consider how each of those materials will retain the temperature after the chamber switches to the opposite cycle of heating or cooling. If the materials are good conductors, they will likely absorb and release temperature stresses more quickly. If not, they may need to soak much longer to stabilize at a set point. This will have an immediate impact on your product temperature change rates, length of test and chamber performance.
It is important to discuss the material types that are used throughout the product being tested with your sales specialist. This will allow our engineers to design the right test chamber for your application by specifying the correct refrigeration system and airflow needed for your test application. In some cases special modifications can be made to the test chamber itself to add additional efficiencies and performance options that can improve the entire testing project.
Considerations should also be taken on whether or not the materials being tested will release flammable gasses when they are subjected to extreme heat. If any of these materials are present in your product and they release gasses into the chamber, they could cause a volatile reaction when the gas passes the ni‐chrome heating element used to heat the chamber.
Ni‐chrome heating elements can have an operational temperature range in excess of 2000°F. The air inside the test chambers will come in direct contact with these elements, and in some cases, if flammable gasses are present in the airstream a volatile reaction could occur. Our environmental chamber sales specialists can help guide you with necessary test chamber safeties during the design phase of your chamber to ensure proper operation, protecting your product and users with optional equipment such as pressure relief vents, temperature limited sheath heaters and more.
If you have a test requirement that requires your product to be operational during the testing procedure, please be sure to inform your sales specialist so they have the appropriate information to specify the correct test chamber. For example, if a DUT creates 10,000 watts of heat under normal operation and your test chamber isn’t sized to accommodate that extra heat, the chamber may not seem to be working as well as it should. Also, are you only testing one of these products at a time, or multiple products? Make sure you multiply your calculated live-load to accommodate all products that will be tested.
4. Size the Chamber for the Future
Buying an environmental test chamber is an investment. Have you done any forecasting of future projects? Are there other testing projects at your facility that will be next in line when the current project is over? If so, will they have the same requirements? Any details you have about future projects can also be addressed by your sales specialist.
5. Find an Appropriate Location Where the Chamber will be Installed
Test chambers have many different requirements. Depending on the type of chamber, the requirements could be vastly different. Is there adequate power available? If the chamber is water cooled or has a humidity option, does it have access to an acceptable water supply and drain for the humidity water? If you need a high rate of change that surpasses capabilities of mechanical cooling, do you have access to liquid nitrogen (LN2) in your test area?
When the unit arrives will it fit through the door? Consider the path of the chamber during delivery to ensure it will pass through all door openings to its final destination. Having the location ready to accommodate a new test chamber will alleviate a lot of headaches when the chamber arrives.
When considering all possible variables, you can reduce the time it will take to get your project rolling and get your products to market.
We have the experience and expertise to provide the right solution for your project. If you want to get a jump start on your testing before the chamber is built you can also utilize one of our A2LA accredited test laboratories
and may even be eligible for a discount on testing services. Contact us
for more information.