Thermal Shock Testing
A thermal shock test can be performed on individual parts or assembled components. Its purpose is to accelerate the stresses that occur on materials when rapid transitions of extreme temperatures are applied. By creating a temperature shock we can evaluate how different materials respond to expansion and contraction brought on by rapid temperature transitions.
In order to accelerate the exposure to vastly different extreme temperatures, product is moved between two separate hot and cold thermal zones. One that is at the high-temperature extreme and one that is at the low-temperature extreme. After the test material has had sufficient time to soak, the material is then mechanically transitioned to the opposite thermal zone. Because each zone is maintained at the soak temperatures, the extra time and energy needed to change the internal temperature of a chamber from one extreme to another is practically eliminated. The resulting test conditions are immediately applied to the material under test. This rapid transition is referred to as a thermal or temperature shock.
For large batch testing our laboratory uses a thermal shock chamber with two hot zones and one cold zone to test twice the about of product at once. This is our double duty thermal shock test chamber.
Thermal shock testing is often used for reliability testing as it also can effectively simulate similar stress conditions which may be experienced over a product life-cycle but in a much smaller and accelerated time span. The results of the testing can also be used to identify areas where a product could be re-designed to remove weaknesses that could lead to product failure and costly warranty rework or recalls.