The development history of environmental test chamber Mar 01, 2022
Believe it or not, most of the technologies we take for granted today would not be possible without an environmental test chamber. At the heart of research and development, environmental test chambers are used to determine product performance, reliability, strength and failure points in many industries. Today, environmental test chambers vary in performance, size and capability. They are critical to a wide range of industries, from small handheld devices to electric vehicles.

The first formal environmental laboratory was not invented until 1951 by Charles Conrad. He does this by altering his home refrigerator to achieve extremely cold temperatures as low as -125°F. New environmental testing techniques take off from there.

With the expansion and formalization of environmental testing, special types of temperature, humidity, corrosion, vibration and other test chambers began to appear. Below are some common types of environmental test chambers today, ranging in size from small benchtop models to walk-in or drive-through rooms.

Temperature and humidity chamber
Using a precisely calibrated heating and cooling system, the  temperature and humidity chamber must maintain precise control of the test environment. The fast rate of change simulates the weather conditions a product may encounter during its life cycle, while maximizing test time for efficiency. Today, you can expect temperature accuracy to within ±0.5°C and relative humidity (RH) accuracy to within ±2%.

The constant temperature and humidity chamber can be used for drug stability testing, battery testing, temperature cycling, solar testing, stress screening, HALT and HASS testing, etc.

Industry leading temperature and humidity chambers capable of -70°C to +180°C (-94°F to 356°F) range and produce standard RH ranges between 20% and 95%. Using a high humidity sensor, some chambers can reach 98% RH or as low as 5% RH desiccant air dryers.

Laboratory oven
Commonly used for aging, baking, curing, drying and sterilization, laboratory ovens and liquid cooling ovens are also used for R&D, product design and testing.

Test chambers have grown stronger over the past few decades and have continued to evolve over time. For example, Thchamber can remotely monitor ongoing tests.

Manufacturers are also keeping pace with the growing importance of battery testing. They designed fixtures that fit in the test chamber to accommodate test batteries for everything from battery fonts to medical devices, drones, electric vehicles, and more.

Most of our technological advancements are as good as our environmental testing techniques, which help explain the explosion of innovation and new technologies we've seen over the past 80 years. It is exciting to imagine what will happen to environmental testing technology in another half century.

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