Thermal Shock

Thermal Shock Testing

The ability to withstand sudden changes in temperature is a key attribute for products and components that are subject to harsh environmental conditions or used in other rugged applications. NTS offers several protocols for testing components against the effects of thermal shock, helping you deliver a more reliable end product and maintain compliance with MIL-STD-810 and other standards.

Background Information

Thermal shock testing rests at the most severe end of the scale in the group of temperature tests performed by NTS. Thermal shock refers to a very high rate of temperature change, typically 30°C per minute or higher and is appropriate for testing packaging, aircraft parts, military hardware or electronics destined for rugged duty. Because almost all products are subject to shipping, this test may be appropriate to any part that will have to withstand an abrupt temperature change in a short period of time, such as a transition from a warm warehouse to a freezing roadside while being loaded onto a truck.

Thermal Shock Testing at NTS

Most test items undergo air-to-air thermal shock testing where the test product moves from one extreme atmospheric temperature to another via mechanical means. NTS employs a number of vertical two zone thermal shock chambers where an elevator moves small to medium sized parts almost instantaneously from one extreme to the other. The fully enclosed thermal shock test chambers avoid unintended exposure to ambient temperature and help prevent the hazards of handling.

For very large items, ones 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.

Highly Accelerated Thermal Shock Testing

NTS is the exclusive provider of HATS – Highly Accelerated Thermal Shock testing – in the US. The HATS technology uses high speed air as the heat transfer mechanism to heat and cool test coupons, where other methodologies utilize transfer fluids like oil, nitrogen, sand or internal conduction. These different methodologies can result in different heat transfer rates. To learn more about NTS HATS testing, click here.

Thermal Shock Testing Options

In addition to air-to-air thermal shock testing, several other methodologies are available to meet the needs of specialty products and devices:

  • For a higher rate of thermal transfer of greater thermal energy, NTS can utilize a liquid-to-liquid system. The process works essentially the same as the air-to-air thermal shock by using a basket to mechanically transfer the test article from one vat to another.
  • As a special type of thermal shock, 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.

Meeting the Testing Requirements of Military and Commercial Clients

As military test standards evolve to commercial applications, it is often required that the temperature of the test load itself (not just the air temperature in the chamber) be stabilized at each temperature extreme. NTS uses thermocouples to record and document temperatures at the center and each corner of the test item(s). Both soak and transfer times are recorded to comply with test requirements.

Contact NTS Today

NTS performs to specifications including MIL-STD-810, MIL-STD-883C, 202; RTCA/DO-160; Telcordia; ASTM; SAE and others. We are accredited bythe American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) to ISO/IEC 17025 as well as a wide range of industry-specific standards. With locations across the country, we can quickly turn around your project and improve overall cycle times. This will help you meet strict deadlines.

For more than 50 years, NTS has been a key partner in providing thermal shock testing to defense contractors, aerospace manufacturers and other businesses.Contact NTS today to find out how to get your product tested!

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