Environment chamber
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An environmental chamber, also called a climatic chamber or climate chamber, is an enclosure used to test the effects of specified environmental conditions on biological items, industrial products, materials, and electronic devices and components. Such a chamber can be used: # as a stand-alone test for environmental effects on test specimens # as preparation of test specimens for further
physical testA physical test is a qualitative or quantitative procedure that consists of determination of one or more characteristics of a given product, process or service according to a specified procedure.ASTM ASTM International, formerly known as American ...
s or
chemical test In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they under ...
s # as environmental conditions for conducting testing of specimens


Overview

An environmental test chamber artificially replicates conditions which machinery, materials, devices or components might be exposed to. It is also used to accelerate the effects of exposure to the environment, sometimes at conditions not actually expected. Chamber testing involves testing and exposing products to various environmental conditions in a controlled setting. Climatic Chamber testing and Thermal Shock testing are part of chamber testing. Climatic Chamber testing is a broad category of ways to simulate climate or excessive ambient conditions exposure for a product or a material under laboratory-controlled yet accelerated conditions. On the other hand, Thermal Shock testing is used to simulate how materials will react when exposed to changes in extreme climatic conditions, such as going from extremely cold to extremely hot conditions in a very short period of time (usually only few seconds). These conditions may include: * extreme temperatures * sudden and extreme temperature variations - thermal shock *
altitude Altitude or height (also sometimes known as depth) is a distance measurement, usually in the vertical or "up" direction, between a reference and a point or object. The exact definition and reference datum varies according to the context (e.g. ...

altitude
* moisture or
relative humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapour (99.9839 °C) , - , Boiling point , , - , specific gas constant , 461.5 J/( kg·K) , - , Heat of vaporization , 2.27 MJ/kg , - , Heat capacity , 1.864 kJ/(kg·K) Water vapo ...

relative humidity
* electrodynamic
vibration Vibration is a mechanical phenomenon whereby oscillation Oscillation is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value (often a point of equilibrium) or between two or more different states. The term '' vib ...

vibration
s * electromagnetic radiation * Cyclic corrosion testing *
salt spray Salt is a mineral In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rocks of which it is ...
*
rain Rain is liquid water in the form of droplet Raindrops in a plant. A drop or droplet is a small column of liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechani ...

rain
*
weathering Weathering is the deterioration of rocks In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology ...
* exposure to sun, causing
UV degradation In polymer chemistry photo-oxidation (sometimes: oxidative photodegradationPhotodegradation is the alteration of materials by light. Typically, the term refers to the combined action of sunlight Sunlight is a portion of the electromagnetic ...
*
vacuum A vacuum is a space Space is the boundless three-dimensional Three-dimensional space (also: 3-space or, rarely, tri-dimensional space) is a geometric setting in which three values (called parameter A parameter (from the Ancient Gree ...

vacuum
Manufactured samples, specimens, or components are placed inside the chamber and subjected to one or more of these environmental parameters to determine reliability or measure after-effects such as corrosion. In the case of machinery such as internal combustion engines, byproducts such as emissions are monitored. An environmental chamber can be a small room used both to condition test specimens and to conduct the test. It can be a smaller unit that's used for conditioning test items. Also, some chambers are small enough to be placed onto a
universal testing machine A universal testing machine (UTM), also known as a universal tester, materials testing machine or materials test frame, is used to test Test(s), testing, or TEST may refer to: * Test (assessment), an educational assessment intended to measur ...

universal testing machine
or other test apparatus. Many chambers are set at a certain set of conditions. Others can be programmed to cycle through specified sequences of conditions.


Design

As test requirements may be relatively simple or complex, environmental test chambers vary widely in size, ranging from small units designed for placement on bench tops to large walk-in chambers. Test chambers generally have viewports or video feeds to allow for visual inspection of the sample during the test. Reach-in chambers provide an opening that technicians may use to handle test samples. Chambers providing interior visual lighting must take into account the heat generated and compensate accordingly. As with the wide variance in size, a number of user control options are available, ranging from simple analog indicators up to more modern digital readouts with LCD displays. Chambers may be computer programmable, and networked or Web-enabled test chambers with built in web servers are also available.


Types of test chambers

* Mechanically cooled test chambers *
Liquid nitrogen Students preparing homemade dewar of liquid nitrogen.">Cryogenic_storage_dewar.html" ;"title="ice cream with a Cryogenic storage dewar">dewar of liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen—LN2—is nitrogen in a liquid state at low temperature. Liquid ...

Liquid nitrogen
cooled test chambers * Modular Walk-in Chambers


Test chamber standards

Several
standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose primary function is developing, coordinating, promulgating, revising, amending, reissuing, interpr ...
s provide
standards Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears a defined relationship to a unit of ...
and guidance on environmental test chamber construction, temperature control standards, and
engineering tolerance Engineering tolerance is the permissible limit or limits of variation in: # a physical dimension thumb , 236px , The first four spatial dimensions, represented in a two-dimensional picture. In physics Physics (from grc, φυ ...
s. *
Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology The Institute of Environmental Sciences and Technology (IEST) is a non-profit, technical Technical may refer to: * Technical (vehicle), an improvised fighting vehicle * Technical analysis, a discipline for forecasting the future direction of pri ...

- wewontech.com *
Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute The Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), formed in 2008 by a merger of the Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI) and the Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association (GAMA), is a North American trade association of ...
(formerly the American Refrigerant Institute) * American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers *
ASTM International ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SS ...
*
Underwriters Laboratories UL, LLC is a global safety certification company headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois Illinois ( ) is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. It has the List of U.S. states and territ ...
*
NSF International NSF International is an American product testing, inspection and certification organization based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. History NSF International was founded in 1944 from the University of Michigan The University of Michigan (UM, U-M, ...
*
FM Global frame, The FM Global logotype FM Global is an American mutual insurance#redirect Mutual insuranceA mutual insurance company is an insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primari ...
*
Canadian Standards Association The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association; CSA) is a standards organization A standards organization, standards body, standards developing organization (SDO), or standards setting organization (SSO) is an organization whose prim ...
*
International Organization for Standardization The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task ...
*
MIL-STD-810 MIL-STD-810, ''Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests'', is a United States Military StandardA United States defense standard, often called a military standard, "MIL-STD", "MIL-SPEC", or (informally) "MilSpecs", is used to he ...
, "Test Method Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests", presently (2010) version G, issued in 2009 * IEC 60068, "Environmental Testing", with many parts.


See also

* Cyclic corrosion testing *
Salt spray test The salt spray test (or salt fog test) is a standardized and popular corrosion Corrosion is a natural process that converts a refined metal into a more chemically stable form such as oxide of rutile. Ti(IV) centers are grey; oxygen centers are r ...
*
Environmental stress cracking 200px, Crazes (surface cracks) produced by ESC in Poly(methyl methacrylate), PMMA drinking beaker Environmental Stress Cracking (ESC) is one of the most common causes of unexpected brittle failure of thermoplastic (especially amorphous) polymers ...
*
Doriot Climatic Chambers The Doriot Climatic Chambers (DCCs) are a pair of very large, highly specialized wind tunnels/environmental chambers located at the U.S. Army’s United States Army Soldier Systems Center, Soldier Systems Center (SSC) in Natick, Massachusetts. Buil ...
*
Accelerated aging Accelerated aging is testing that uses aggravated conditions of heat, humidity, oxygen, sunlight, vibration, etc. to speed up the normal aging processes of items. It is used to help determine the long-term effects of expected levels of stress withi ...
*
Environmental stress screeningEnvironmental stress screening (ESS) refers to the process of exposing a newly manufactured or repaired product or component (typically electronic component, electronic) to stresses such as thermal cycling and oscillation, vibration in order to force ...
* Environmental stress fracture *
MIL-STD-810 MIL-STD-810, ''Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests'', is a United States Military StandardA United States defense standard, often called a military standard, "MIL-STD", "MIL-SPEC", or (informally) "MilSpecs", is used to he ...
, DoD Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests * Shelf life * Standard conditions for temperature and pressure * Thermo mechanical fatigue#Comparison of TMF tests, Thermo-mechanical fatigue test * Universal testing machine * Weather testing of polymers * Stabilizers for polymers


References

{{reflist Tests Environmental testing