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What do environmental test chamber and climate test chamber stand for and what's the difference? Jul 15, 2022

You may have come across terms such as environmental chambers, climate chamber, and test chamber. But what's the difference between these and which one is best for your testing needs?

 

In fact, these terms are interchangeable without any meaningful difference. Although an environmental chamber is probably the most commonly used term, the most important difference is determining which type of environmental testing is best for your needs.


Environmental chambers need to meet a wide range of requirements, push the devices under test to their physical limits, and simulate all the real-world conditions they may encounter.


 


Temperature test chamber

Designed to give engineers the precise control they need for temperature cycling or steady state testing, temperature chambers are used to test medical devices, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, electronics, batteries (with adjustable grips for different battery types), military and defense, communication, transportation, etc.

 

Constant Temperature Chamber rely on complex heating systems to ensure reliable test conditions and industry standards. Performance chambers typically have a range of -70°C to 180°C (-94°F to 356°F), while those designed for stability testing are 201°F). They come in a wide range of volumes, from benchtop models less than 1 cubic foot to walk-in rooms.

 

The airflow design of the chamber enables the fast-reacting heater to maintain tight control of the temperature inside the chamber to an accuracy of ±0.5°C.

 

The Constant Temperature Chamber also has an air-cooled or water-cooled system.

 

While air cooling costs less, its pull down is generally slower than water cooling options. Alternatively, water cooling units are more efficient but more complicated to install and require a permanent source of water. You can further enhance cooling by integrating liquid nitrogen (LN2) or carbon dioxide (CO2) into the system. These contribute to faster pulldown rates.

 

Regarding safety features, the temperature chamber has an adjustable high/low control that prevents the temperature from rising or falling below a certain limit during testing. In addition, these chambers benefit from internal high temperature safety features and a refrigeration system with overvoltage safety circuits.

 

All of these components combine to create an environmental test system that identifies leading-edge technology for durability and safety.

 

Temperature humidity test chamber

In addition to temperature, many standards also require humidity components. Humidity chambers, similar to temperature chambers or thermal chambers, range in size (from bench-top to walk-in models) and performance.

 

They rely on steam generator systems to create and tightly control humidity conditions in the workspace.

 

These steam systems consist of closed stainless steel or copper pipes. Another component then heats the water that turns into steam or steam and passes through the tubes, where it combines with the conditioned air in the plenum before entering the interior workspace.

 

A standard humidity chamber will accommodate test conditions between 20% and 95% relative humidity (RH), which is the amount of humidity achievable at a given temperature. For example, a RH of 5 degrees Celsius is very different from an RH of 32 degrees Celsius. For those requiring more extreme RH levels, high humidity sensors can achieve up to 98% relative humidity, while desiccant air dryers can achieve as low as 5% relative humidity.

 

Thchamber has been designing, building and stability test chambers for many years. Get in touch today to learn more about how environmental testing can enhance your product line or help you meet industry standards.

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