An environmental test chamber is a space to perform controlled tests on a subject and allows the user to control the environmental conditions of the enclosed space. A test chamber can re-create multiple environmental conditions viz, namely, temperature and humidity conditions, temperature only conditions and corrosive conditions through the use of salt spray. It can also build environments incorporating the dust, rain and altitude at adjustable levels.

Here are five things you must know about an Environmental Chamber:

1. Functionality

On the basis of the functionality, the test chambers use a compressor to build a cold environment or to remove the temperature hike from the environment in the chamber, similarly it uses electric heaters to raise the temperature and tweak the temperature and temperature humidity conditions. The refrigeration system works on mechanism based system as well as a liquid cooling based system; both these methods have their particular pros and cons. Humidity is introduced in the system through steam generators and the stability of the temperature is provided by the use of compressors. This solution is then forced through the nozzle with the help of compressed air and a mist is created in the test chamber.

2. Size Range

The size range of an environmental chamber varies extensively; it can run in a size from half a cubic foot and can be customised according to the client’s requirements. The small size chambers are usually referred to as “bench-top” models, “up right” model and the larger ones are “walk-in” rooms. These chambers are known to provide a variety of astounding capabilities, relying on the desired tests.

3. Types of Tests

The tests undertaken in an environmental chamber are broadly segmented in two categories:

  • Climatic tests
    • Air pressure
    • Humidity
    • Temperature and light
  • Dynamic test
    • Shock
    • Vibration
    • Acceleration
    • Rotation

4. Chambers Under Environmental Chamber

  • Cryogenic test chambers test products that must face temperatures between -238℉ to absolute zero.
  • Altitude chambers, or hypobaric chambers, test the effects of low-pressure on products, packaging, and electronics that will be exposed to high altitudes.
  • Salt spray chambers, also called fog chambers, test corrosion resistance by hanging an object from a rod as the chamber introduces a salty residue that creates fog.
  • Temperature chambers are self-explanatory; they test the effect of different temperatures. They’re often used in conjunction with other testing processes, like vibration and altitude testing.

5. Standards for Testing

The standards for testing of a chamber vary according to the types of the chambers. This is because they serve various industries and have standards according to the industry. Here are some test standards to be taken care of while performing tests in an environmental chamber: JSA JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) D 0203 “Method of Moisture, Rain and Spray Test for Automobile Parts”, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) J2245 “Recommended Practice for Splash and Spray Evaluation”, SAE J575 “Test Methods and Equipment for Lighting Devices and Components”

The five points mentioned above should suffice in giving you an idea of the functionality and pretty much all you need to know about an environmental chamber. For further inquiries, click here.