There are many ways to do thermal testing right, many ways to do thermal testing wrong and many ways to do a mediocre job with it.
Here are several aspects of thermal testing to consider:
1) Actually performing a test that is adequate to accomplish need, requirement and intent of the testing plan
2) Efficiency of time and labor used for the test
3) Efficiency of facilities requirements
4) Reliability and repeatability of testing
Heat Transfer by conduction using thermal platforms/hot cold plates is known to be faster and more efficient, but do to complex shapes of many parts not always practical. Heat transfer by convection using temperature chambers that have respectable airflow allows heat to be transferred efficiently to and from irregularly shaped devices. With modern control and monitoring methods, it is now a lot easier to verify that temperatures at specific locations are actually being achieved and held for the specified durations.
The combination of convection and conduction holds several promises of improving the whole thermal testing game. Easily accessible benchtop thermal testing that combines the benefits of convection and conduction allows better performance and accessibility while unit is under test which is often important for probing or other R & D operations. A small benchtop unit saves time with technicians no longer needing to stop, get up and walk over to a temperature chamber. Smaller batches also mean less waiting in queue for start of thermal testing. A test stand with small footprint consumes less precious lab space and uses less power than conventional chambers. Simple L-N2 / L-CO2 cooled systems are quite fast, economical, have very low maintenance requirements.
Modern controllers are easily automated with Ethernet, GPIB, FTP, email, logging, web server, network printing and texting capability will keep test operators informed of testing status and expedite accurate reporting of test results.
TotalTemp Technologies offers advanced thermal testing systems, off the shelf and custom engineered systems. Call today to talk with experienced representatives that help plan the best solution for your testing requirements.
Check out our new product combining the advantages of thermal testing with both convection and conduction: http://www.totaltemptech.com/Hybrid.php