What is the right temperature chamber for testing your product?
A temperature chamber is an essential testing mechanism for testing materials, devices, and various components for strength and robustness enabling the product to carry out the desired purposes (see Different Ways to Use Environmental Chambers) here. The chamber can test to exceed environmental conditions. Wikipedia assures, “a robust climate chamber can mimic a relatively wide range of warm environmental conditions, in terms of temperature and humidity (1).
The thermal chamber, then, artificially replicates conditions through environmental simulation to which such products might likely be exposed (See The Basics of Environmental Test Chambers) here. The temperature chamber is also used to accelerate the effects of exposure in an environment, even at conditions not normally expected. Such testing assures a product’s structural integrity in real-world conditions and outworldly events.
Temperature chambers vary in size, presenting the user with the need to consider the best choice for the manufacturer’s demands. Thermal chambers range in size from large rooms to small benchtop structures. There are benefits to working with the benchtop temperature chambers over larger size structures; in order to make an informed decision, some important considerations are discussed below.
One benefit found with a benchtop size temperature chamber is in its small footprint. There is little or no reason whatsoever to purchase a chamber whose size exceeds the needs (and possibly the space) of the lab, particularly for operations with expected and predictable size in the products being tested. Lab space is a valuable commodity. This precious resource must be used strategically. Also, time is saved by eliminating technicians’ movements: less footprint and less footsteps.
There is also considerable benefit in saving time with a temperature chamber’s small configuration. The powerful yet compact thermal platform can, due to the nature of mass, reach the desired temperature settings in less time than a larger version. In addition to saving time, the quicker process saves energy as well. Moreover, a clearer verification of exact temperature is readily and easily ensured.
As mentioned, less energy to replicate temperatures in a smaller space saves on cost. But another cost saving benefit is derived from the simple fact that the chamber is small. The cost of a larger floor-based (or larger) vs the bench model is comparable to the cost difference between a compact sedan and a double cab long bed truck. Each serves a purpose, and that purpose is more often than not attributed to cargo—the size of what is placed inside (See Benefits of a Small Thermal Vacuum Chamber for Space Simulation) here. Again, with predetermined size(s), the thermal chamber needn’t be overtly larger than demand specific needs (2).
Less error and precise temperature control ensures conformity in repeated testing. This increases the repeatability requirements for consistent results, thus assuring that international and national standards are met.
Finally, the results of the thermal chamber’s tests can be automatically stored on the equipment, in the cloud, or transmitted straight to PDF or a network printer, eliminating the need for printing by technicians. Time saved is available for other important tasks.
Overall, highest value testing conducted at any laboratory requires streamlined testing processes as much as possible to provide engineers and industry customers with their needed reports as fast as possible (3). Consider the needs for your product, the laboratory space required, energy consumption data, repeatability and consistency requirements, as well as ease of transmitting the resulting data. Given those parameters, you will certainly know the important factors that drive your decisions. Moreover, you may find that a compact benchtop model sufficiently and thoroughly fits your needs.