Environmental testing is used to simulate scenarios products or materials will have to withstand as a natural part of their use throughout their life cycle. This can be tests simulating hot, cold, humid, solar radiation, salt mist etc.
Why use Environmental Testing
There are several reasons why businesses use environmental testing during development of new products. A few examples are listed below.
- Competition: You want to set yourself ahead of the competition or avoid being left behind.
- Requirement: Due to the nature of your business, there might some requirement regarding conformance testing to the standard you work under. For example if producing to the department of defence, MIL standards need to be followed.
- Legal Claims: If an issue arise and the company can demonstrate in court they have done their duty in terms of testing for environmental impacts, it will be seen in their favour.
- Validation: During development of a new product, environmental testing could be used to select the best material for a design, or compare performance of two potential design features.
Different Environment Examples
The different environmental condition products have to withstand can vary a lot, below are some examples with a mobile phone to illustrate this.
- A mobile phone can be used in a heated car at more than 20 degrees Celsius, and following be taken out in the cold at temperatures below -30 degrees Celsius. A Thermal Shock test can be used to simulate this, and the product will be cycled between two extreme temperatures within a short period.
- Another scenario could be a phone used during rain or on a windy day near the sea. A salt mist test could be used to simulate this.
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