Extreme Cold Testing

January 8, 2015


Thermal Shock Chamber at NTS Tempe, AZ

Environmental testing has been a major component of NTS services since our founding in 1961. Military and commercial standards such as MIL-STD-810 and RTCA/DO-160 include sections for thermal shock, icing, freezing rain, and hail impact.

Thermal shock testing  lies at the most severe end of the spectrum of temperature tests performed by NTS. Thermal shock refers to a very high rate of temperature change and is generally conducted on aircraft components, military hardware and electronics designed to withstand harsh environments.

Because almost all products are subject to shipping, this test may be appropriate for any part that will have to withstand an abrupt temperature change in a short period of time, such as a transition from environmentally controlled storage to the varying environments encountered during transport.

Air-to-air thermal shock testing is the most common test performed at our laboratories. It is conducted by moving the test article from one extreme temperature to another on a mechanical conveyor or elevator, depending upon the orientation of the chambers. Fully enclosed thermal shock test chambers keep the equipment stationary while the chamber temperature cycles.

For very large items that cannot be moved by an in-chamber elevator, NTS can provide fixtures and the right setup to meet applicable test specification requirements while assuring the safety of the test item. In one such case, NTS engineers in Boxborough, MA were faced with the challenge of performing icing testing a on a tall telescoping antenna while it was under operation. A custom 23’ x 7’ 7” chamber with temperature controls was built to accommodate this extreme test.

Other examples of specialty thermal shock testing include a liquid-to-liquid system in which a basket is utilized to mechanically transfer a test article from one vat to another for a higher transfer rate of greater thermal energy. NTS also performs cryogenic testing for launch vehicles, satellites, and related hardware. Two large capacity LN2 pits are available for testing that requires either simple atmospheric or highly pressurized sub-freezing temperature shock.

Give us a call today at 800-649-5289 to discuss your extreme environmental testing!

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