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Selecting a Environmental Test or Manufacturing Chambers

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Selecting a environmental test or manufacturing chamber for your requirements can be a daunting task. Environmental chambers come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities. Typical considerations include; price, capability, size, quality, interface requirements, ect. As with any expenditure, one must first understand their test or manufacturing requirements.

Many different types of environmental chambers are available.  Chamber sizes range form very small bench top chambers to drive-in chambers for large air or spacecraft. Environmental chambers come with or may be designed with a full range of environmental conditions.

Extreme temperatures chambers equipped with refrigeration or heating systems may achieve temperatures as low as -200 deg. F or with liquid nitrogen may achieve much lower temperatures. Heating systems may allow a environmental chamber to reach temperatures as high as +1000 deg. F.

Humidity systems are often combined with temperature systems to control an environmental chambers to 10% to 100% humidity levels

Altitude environmental chambers are design to simulate altitudes as high 100,000 feet with humidity and temperature systems..

Vacuum environmental chambers routinely achieve 10-8 Torr levels of vacuum and are typically manufactured with heat sink capabilities for electronic testing and verification.

Thermal shock chambers are available in any desired size and configuration.  Thermal shock chambers can produce dramatic changes of temperature of the objects placed within.  Changing the temperature of an object quickly thermally shocks and produces internal stresses within the object. Thermal shock techniques are utilized in commercial, military and space industries to verify the reliability of a product.

Environmental chamber size is a function of the object whith will be placed within.  This seems obvious, however object and supporting hardware and chamber equipment should be understood.  For example, if you are testing an electronic assembly under vacuum and temperature cycling.  Access for the power supply cables, thermocouples and mounting hardware should be understood. Does the test technician have access where required?  Recording devices for analysis, verification and supporting controls will require specification as well.

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