SALT SPRAY TESTING
An introduction to salt spray testing, and its importance for electronic products
When you want to be sure that an electrical or electronic product you are looking to put on the market will be able to stand up to a variety of climactic conditions, it will be a crucial endeavour to see how that product fares against certain industry-accepted environmental test standards.
While a lot of us associate the environmental testing of electronic devices and components with such processes as humidity, temperature, and dust ingress testing, you might not have given as much thought to salt spray testing.
Here at Cranage EMC and Safety, salt spray testing is a service that we can provide in accordance with IEC / EN 60068-2-52. But what makes this form of environmental testing so crucial for a broad range of electronic products?
Salt can pose major corrosion risks to electrical devices
Found not only in lakes, rivers, and the ocean, but also in the broader atmosphere and on the surface of the land, salt is no less than one of the world’s most common compounds. So, a given electrical or electronic item will almost certainly come into contact with salt spray – which in turn, can bring about the spontaneous oxidation process known as metal corrosion.
That corrosion could take various forms. The general surface of a given item could become corroded, or pitting corrosion (otherwise known as hole corrosion) can occur, whereby the corrosive medium penetrates the material to form pits or holes. Corrosion can arise, too, in narrow gaps.
The user of a device might also become aware of corrosion being a problem due to the previous gloss on the surface of the object fading. Or they might simply spot good old-fashioned rust, whereby ferrous oxide and hydroxide corrosion products form on iron and steel.
So, the risk that corrosion presents – not even just to metals, but also to high-alloyed, tempered materials, plastics, and painted surfaces – should not be underestimated.
What, then, does salt spray testing involve?
Salt spray testing is a standardised method for checking how effective not only coatings, but also entire products are at resisting corrosion. It involves the production of an accelerated corrosive attack, in order to better predict how well a coating protects the metal underneath.
So, when you are looking to ensure your own organisation’s electrical or electronic products achieve impressive results in relation to all manner of important environmental test standards, you should not overlook the importance of this testing process.
To find out more about our own salt spray testing services and facilities, or about any other aspect of what we do at Cranage EMC and Safety, please feel free to enquire to our Shropshire-based team today.