Environmental testing for electronic products

In this text we would like to share with you the information on environmental testing that may be required for your electronic product. The most convenient way to explain this would be to use practical example, so here we will list the tests that we have performed in-house in our environmental chamber, during development of alarm system.

The EN 50130-5 European Standard specifies environmental test methods to be used for testing the system components of the (fire) alarm systems, intended for use in and around buildings in residential, commercial, light industrial and industrial environments.

Here is a brief explanation and a list of environmental tests we have performed in-house. In case you need more information regarding all the tests required by standard, feel free to contact us.

The EN 50130-5 European Standard specifies 3 equipment classes (fixed, movable & portable equipment) and 4 environmental classes.
The environmental classes only include the general service environments envisaged for equipment installed in typical residential, commercial and industrial environments.

Environmental class description:

I

Indoor but restricted to residential/office environment
(e.g. living rooms and offices) 

II

 Indoor in general
(e.g. sales floors, shops, restaurants, stairways, manufacturing and assembly areas, entrances and storage rooms)

III

 Outdoor but sheltered from direct rain and sunshine, or indoor with extreme environmental conditions
(e.g. garages, lofts, barns and loading bays)

IV

 Outdoor in general

 

Equipment class description:

Fixed equipment

equipment fastened to a support or otherwise secured in a specific location, or equipment not provided with a carrying handle and having such a mass that it cannot easily be moved
EXAMPLE: An intruder alarm system control panel screwed to the wall.

Movable equipment

equipment which is not fixed equipment and which is not normally in operation while the location is changed
EXAMPLE: A local unit or controller for a social alarm system, which is placed on a table top.

Portable equipment

equipment designed to be in operation while being carried
EXAMPLE: Access control “smart card” badge, electronic key, social alarm trigger device carried by the user.

 

Test name Equipment class Environmental class
Dry heat (operational) Fixed, movable and portable I – IV
Dry heat (endurance) Fixed, movable and portable IV
Cold (operational) Fixed, movable and portable I – IV
Temperature change (operational) Portable I – IV
Damp heat, steady state (operational) Fixed, movable and portable I – IV
Damp heat, steady state (endurance) Fixed, movable and portable I – IV
Damp heat, cyclic (operational) Fixed, movable and portable II – IV
Damp heat, cyclic (endurance) Fixed, movable and portable III – IV

Dry heat (operational)

The object of the test is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to function correctly at high ambient temperatures, which may occur for short periods in the anticipated service environment.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to the high temperature for sufficient time to allow temperature stability to be reached, and for functional tests and/or monitoring to be conducted. ‘Free air’ conditions are simulated for heat dissipating specimens to allow for self-heating effects.


Dry heat (endurance)

The objective of the test is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to withstand long term aging effects. The test consists of exposing the specimen to the high temperature for a long period to accelerate aging effects.

The dry heat endurance test may be combined with the dry heat operational test by omitting the recovery and the functional test in between. The specimen shall not be supplied with power during the conditioning.


Cold (operational)

The objective is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to function correctly at low ambient temperatures appropriate to the anticipated service environment.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to the low temperature for sufficient time to allow temperature stability to be reached, and for functional tests and/or monitoring to be conducted. ‘Free air’ conditions are simulated for heat dissipating specimens to allow for self-heating effects.


Temperature change (operational)

To demonstrate the ability of portable equipment to function correctly when exposed to temperature shocks when carried back and forth between normal and cold ambient temperature.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to a succession of changes of temperature. The specimen is moved from one test chamber to another.


Damp heat, steady state (operational)

The object of the test is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to function correctly at high relative humidity (without condensation) which may occur for short periods in the service environment.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to a constant temperature and high relative humidity in such a manner that condensation does not occur on the specimen.

The damp heat steady state operational test may be combined with the damp heat steady state endurance test by omitting the recovery and the functional test in between.


Damp heat, steady state (endurance)

The object of the test is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to withstand the long-term effects of humidity in the service environment (e.g. changes in electrical properties due to absorption, chemical reactions involving moisture, galvanic corrosion, etc.).

The test consists of exposing the specimen to a constant temperature and high relative humidity in such a manner that condensation does not occur on the specimen.

A long period of exposure is chosen to allow effects due to absorption and chemical changes to take place.

The specimen shall not be supplied with power during the conditioning


Damp heat, cyclic (operational)

The object of the test is to demonstrate the immunity of the equipment to an environment with high relative humidity, where condensation occurs on the equipment.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to cyclic temperature variations between 25 °C and the appropriate upper temperature (40 °C or 55 °C). The relative humidity is maintained at (93 ± 3) % during the high temperature phase and above 80 % during the low temperature and temperature changing phases. The rates of increase of temperature are such that condensation should occur on the surface of the specimen.

The damp heat cyclic operational test may be combined with the damp heat cyclic endurance test by omitting the recovery and the functional test in between.


Damp heat, cyclic (endurance)

The object of the test is to demonstrate the ability of the equipment to withstand the long-term effects of high humidity and condensation.

The test consists of exposing the specimen to cyclic temperature variations between 25 °C and 55 °C. The relative humidity is maintained at (93 ± 3) % during the high temperature phase and above 80 % during the low temperature and temperature changing phases. The rates of increase of temperature are such that condensation should occur on the surface of the specimen.

The specimen shall not be supplied with power during the conditioning.


In case you need more information about environmental testing for your product or just want to get a quotation, feel free to contact us.