environmental test

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environmental test

[in¦vī·ərn¦mənt·əl ′test]
(engineering)
A laboratory test conducted to determine the functional performance of a component or system under conditions that simulate the real environment in which the component or system is expected to operate.

Environmental test

The evaluation of a physical system (engineering product) in conditions which simulate one or more of the environments that may harm the system or adversely affect its performance. In addition to the evaluation of a finished product, environmental testing can play an important role throughout a product's design/development cycle to ensure that the materials and manufacturing processes employed can meet the stresses imposed by the environment in which the product is likely to operate. By not waiting until a finished product is evaluated, manufacturers can use environmental testing to eliminate costly redesigns late in the design/development cycle.

Because it is necessary to precisely control the environmental factors which define the test (for example, temperature, vibration level, or altitude), environmental testing is typically conducted in specially designed facilities, or environmental chambers. Some environmental chambers can generate extremely high and low temperatures and humidity levels. Others can simulate corrosive environments such as salt sprays. Products and equipment intended for military use are often subjected to the harshest and most variable of environmental conditions. The military has pioneered the creation of well-documented standards and specifications for the evaluation and testing of any products or equipment which it will purchase.

Civilian organizations, such as the Society of Automotive Engineers, publish standards for automotive and aerospace equipment. In addition, nearly 100 countries have adopted the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000 series of standards for quality management and quality assurance. These standards are implemented by thousands of manufacturing and service organizations, both public and private. Of the ISO 9000 family standards, ISO 9003 covers quality assurance obligations of the manufacturer in the areas of final inspection and testing. Among the guidelines provided by ISO 9003 are those dedicated to (1) developing procedures to inspect, test, and verify that final products meet all specified requirements before they are sold; (2) developing procedures to control and calibrate the testing equipment; (3) ensuring that every product is identified as having passed or failed the required tests. ISO 9003 will have a significant impact upon the standardization of environmental testing in both civilian and military endeavors.

An incomplete but representative list of environmental tests requiring dedicated test chambers includes tests for altitude, dust, explosiveness, flammability, fungus, humidity, icing, acoustic vibration, overpressure, rain, salt fog, sand, temperature, and wind. Tests typically not requiring chambers but still utilizing dedicated mechanical testing equipment include acceleration, fatigue cycling, transportation simulation, shock, and vibration.

References in periodicals archive ?
The tests usually consist of five mechanical and environmental tests, including secureness, conditioning, pullout, temperature, dielectric withstand, heat cycling and accelerated aging tests.
has completed thermal vacuum environmental tests on critical components for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Membrane Optic Imager Real-Time Exploitation (MOIRE) telescope.
The environmental tests will confirm the design integrity of the spacecraft and will include thermal vacuum, electromagnetic compatibility, electromagnetic interference, vibration, shock and acoustic testing.
The Department of Energy and Boeing will hold a public meeting tonight in Simi Valley to discuss additional environmental tests planned at the field lab before the cleanup is complete.
The Salinas, California processing facility has undergone extensive testing and external review and environmental tests have been returned negative for the potential presence of listeria.
and also are conducting environmental tests at the plant.
BAE Systems' entry in the Army's Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System II (APKWS II) competition has successfully completed environmental tests that validate the weapon's ability to withstand battlefield conditions.
District agrees to conduct additional environmental tests.
IMMI's testing and analysis facility, the Center for Advanced Product Evaluation (CAPE), located at company headquarters in Westfield, Indiana, conducts crash/rollover tests, environmental tests, and analysis services.
Hal Lipchik, NTS vice president for administration, said his company will not let Hart officials enter the testing grounds until they submit a detailed work plan for environmental tests and indemnify NTS from all liability for Hart workers who might be injured on the property.
Although most environmental tests took place over summer vacation, the district continued collecting weekly comparative data samples from a brand new portable classroom at Rio Vista for the first five weeks of the school year, Wickstrom said.
This agreement continues to position SDI as the single source solution for rapid, on-site toxicity and environmental tests.

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