Utilizing our technical expertise in predictive analysis and accelerated aging testing methodologies, we have developed an approach that enables predicting long-term product life from relatively short-term test data. We use elements such as weathering, temperature, humidity, UV exposure, and repetitive sterilization to induce life-limiting failure modes such as creep cracking, environmental stress cracking, and cracking under relaxation conditions—all on a dramatically accelerated time scale.
Our accelerated aging testing laboratories feature advanced equipment to control temperature, humidity, stress/strain levels, and product contact conditions on hundreds of test specimens or product assemblies at the same time. This ability to condition and fixture specimens over such a broad range of variables in a short period of time, allows us to provide clients with highly reliable failure-rate data and reliability statistics.
Aging tests are conducted in environmental chambers, with elevated temperature accelerating effective time. This effect is based on the Arrhenius equation, which relates temperature and time. Testing at multiple temperatures can provide a quantifiable acceleration factor. These tests are often done in conjunction with chemical exposure and mechanical loading to understand potential product reliability problems resulting from environmental stress cracking, mechanical loads or material degradation.
Our accelerated environmental testing laboratory is equipped with a combination of nine, 16, 32, and 500 cubic-foot temperature and humidity controlled chambers. Additionally, our walk-in environmental chamber makes it possible to condition and test large components, or significant numbers of components under extreme environmental conditions (20°C to 80°C, up to 100% relative humidity) for accelerated aging testing.
Extended exposure to UV from sunlight or other sources can cause degradation in the structural properties of most polymers. Although additives have been developed to slow the degradation process, they do not eliminate this problem. Ultimately, a manufacturer of products that will be exposed to the weather must test the performance of their candidate resin systems to make an informed selection of the best resin, and also estimate the life of the product.
In our testing laboratory we have the capabilities to simulate, at an accelerated rate, a number of weathering conditions including:
We have the following materials engineering capabilities at Stress Engineering Services: