environmental test

environmental test

[in¦vī·ərn¦mənt·əl ′test]
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 ?
Also in that issue, Trio-Tech presented the Tracer-flo radiation-based hermetic leak tester, and Webber, Tenney Engineering, and Inreco provided environmental test chambers.
During the upcoming environmental test phase, various segments and subsystems are scrutinized for their viability under the same harsh conditions they will endure within the vacuum of space.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-25 October 2007-Sweden's Opus Prodox AB wins SEK2m order for environmental test equipment in France(C)1994-2007 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.
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Instrumentation: Environmental test chambers, curing and testing ovens
Also, in 2008, under the trade name TRS-Environmental, the Company entered the environmental test equipment rental business serving the Americas.
Lockheed Martin and NASA engineers have verified that the Orion spacecraft successfully passed an important environmental test called Multi-Point Random Vibration Testing.
Box 1320 Minneapolis, MN 55440 Phone: (612) 469-5424 Instrumentation: Environmental test chambers, curing and testing ovens Services offered: Technical service, training
Recent Industry Activity II-44 USDA GIPSA Approves ROSA[R] Ochratoxin Quantitative Test for Ochratoxin II-44 Microbac Takes Over Ohio and California Based Laboratories II-44 Pace Analytical Services Acquires Assets of Laucks Testing Laboratory II-44 USDA Grants its Approval to Neogen's Reveal[R] for DON SQ II-44 New Environmental Test Lab Opens in Frederick, Md.
The state Department of Toxic Substances Control is expected to disclose environmental test results in a preliminary assessment by late March, according to Tony Ward of Arcadis, Geraghty & Miller, the Hart District's environmental consulting firm.
Philadelphia, PA 19154 Phone: (215) 824-1700 Instrumentation: Ovens, environmental test chambers, incubators Services Offered: Technical service, training, manufacturing

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