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What is an environmental test chamber?

What is an environmental test chamber?
06/05/2020

For an environmental test chamber engineer, the answer to an opening line of “What do you do?” can provoke one of two outcomes: curiosity - or a slightly glazed look and a wish of having never asked! So, What is an environmental test chamber?? In this short series we’ll introduce you to the how’s and why’s. The simplest way to explain what a test chamber is, is to describe it as a highly insulated cupboard, fitted with various systems to simulate environmental conditions eg refrigeration for cold and humidity for damp. It can be small enough to fit on a bench – or big enough to hold a car or two. They are used to research, develop and manufacture many of the products in everyday use. The chamber has a controller and can be programmed to give different cycles through hot and cold, dry and humid, even rain or dust or salt spray, according to requirements and specifications. The tests can also ensure adherence to certain Standards for products. The test results help predict the potential lifespan of a product or material, and how well it will stand up to the conditions it will be expected to operate in. Test chambers can also be used to evaluate product quality and reliability, and to identify manufacturing weaknesses. Examples of the products our test chambers have been used for:

• Deep sea pipeline valves (operation at cold temperatures); • Traffic light sensors (need to be operational in all weathers); • Office equipment (testing laminated materials); • Electronic devices (how well will your phone operate in the rain…?); • Smoke detectors, fire alarms & toxic gas detectors; • Aerospace components (taking off in a hot desert, going up into cold atmosphere).

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