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Environmental Testing: Temperature and Humidity Testing

Humidity climatic test chambers are essential tools used to test the performance of various materials and products under different humidity conditions. Humidity testing is crucial in evaluating the reliability and safety of products that are subjected to varying humidity levels. In this article, we will discuss what humidity climatic test chambers are, the testing standards used for these chambers, the humidity ranges for humidity testing, and the purpose of humidity testing.

What are Humidity Test Chambers?

Humidity climatic test chambers are specialized chambers designed to simulate different environmental conditions. These chambers have controlled temperature and humidity levels, making it possible to evaluate how products and materials perform under specific humidity conditions. Humidity climatic test chambers are used in a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, electronics, and pharmaceuticals.

Purpose of Humidity Testing:

The purpose of humidity testing is to evaluate how materials and products perform under different humidity conditions. Humidity testing is critical in understanding how moisture affects materials and products and how they react to high humidity or dry conditions. Humidity testing helps in assessing the performance, durability, and reliability of materials and products that are expected to perform in various humidity conditions during their lifetime.

Humidity testing is used in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, electronics, aerospace, automotive, and more. For example, in the pharmaceutical industry, humidity testing is used to ensure that drugs and other products remain stable and effective under varying humidity conditions. In the electronics industry, humidity testing is used to evaluate the performance of electronic components that are exposed to humid conditions.

Humidity testing is typically performed in a humidity climatic test chamber, which can simulate different humidity conditions. The chamber has controlled humidity levels, making it possible to evaluate the impact of different humidity levels on materials and products. Humidity testing can be conducted at various humidity levels, including low humidity testing, high humidity testing, and humidity cycling testing.

Humidity Test Chambers: Testing Standards

Several testing standards are used to ensure that the humidity testing process is accurate and reliable. These standards include:

ASTM E104-02: This standard specifies the requirements for testing humidity and temperature chambers.

ASTM E104-02 is a standard test method for determining water vapor transmission rate through plastic films or barriers. This test method is used to evaluate the ability of a plastic film to prevent the passage of water vapor under specified conditions. Here are the steps to run an ASTM E104-02 test:

  1. Sample Preparation: Cut a sample of the film to the required size using a template or cutting device. The sample should be free of defects such as wrinkles, folds, or scratches that could affect the test results.

  2. Weighing: Weigh the sample on a balance to determine its weight accurately. Record the weight of the sample as W1.

  3. Conditioning: Condition the sample in a humidity chamber at a specified temperature and relative humidity for a specific duration to achieve a moisture equilibrium. This process is necessary to ensure that the sample is not affected by moisture before the test.

  4. Test Setup: Place the conditioned sample on a test dish that has a desiccant and is sealed with an O-ring. The desiccant absorbs any moisture that may enter the test cell from the outside.

  5. Testing: Place the test cell in a controlled environment with a constant temperature and relative humidity, and monitor the change in weight of the sample over time. The test should be run for a specified duration.

  6. Calculation: Calculate the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of the sample using the following formula:

WVTR = [(W2 - W1)/A x t]

Where, WVTR = water vapor transmission rate in g/m²/day W1 = initial weight of the sample W2 = weight of the sample at the end of the test A = surface area of the sample in m² t = test duration in days

  1. Data Analysis: Record the test results and compare them with the required specifications or industry standards.

It is essential to follow the ASTM E104-02 test method precisely to ensure accurate and consistent results. Any deviation from the standard method can affect the test results and make them invalid.

ASTM D1776-20: This standard covers the testing of plastics and electrical insulating materials in humidity-controlled environments.

ASTM D1776-20 is a standard test method used to determine the resistance of textiles to abrasion. The test measures the loss of weight and appearance changes of a textile sample when it is rubbed against a standard abrasive surface.

Here are the steps to conduct an ASTM D1776-20 test:

  1. Sample Preparation: Cut a rectangular-shaped sample from the textile material to be tested. The sample size should be at least 140 mm x 50 mm.

  2. Conditioning: Condition the sample in a standard atmosphere of 21°C ± 1°C and 65% ± 2% relative humidity for at least 4 hours before testing.

  3. Mount the sample: Mount the sample onto the abrasion testing machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  4. Calibration: Calibrate the machine to ensure it is running at the required speed and has the correct load applied.

  5. Select the abrasive: Select an abrasive material according to the specifications given in the test method.

  6. Run the test: Start the machine and run the test for the required number of cycles as specified in the test method. Typically, 1000 cycles are recommended for textile materials.

  7. Weigh the sample: After completing the test, remove the sample from the machine and clean it of any loose debris. Weigh the sample to the nearest 0.1 mg using an analytical balance.

  8. Calculate the results: Calculate the weight loss of the sample as a percentage of the original sample weight. Report the results as an average of at least two test specimens.

By following these steps, you can conduct an ASTM D1776-20 test to determine the resistance of textiles to abrasion. It is important to strictly adhere to the testing standards to ensure accurate and reliable results.

IEC 60068: This standard covers environmental testing, including humidity testing.

IEC 60068 is a set of international standards that define various environmental testing procedures, including temperature, humidity, vibration, shock, and more. Each standard specifies the test methods, test conditions, and acceptance criteria for a particular environmental factor. Here are the general steps for running an IEC 60068 test:

  1. Identify the relevant standard: Choose the appropriate standard from the IEC 60068 series based on the environmental factor you want to test.

  2. Prepare the test sample: Follow the preparation instructions provided in the standard to prepare the sample for testing. This may involve conditioning the sample to a specific temperature, humidity, or other environmental condition.

  3. Set up the test equipment: Configure the test equipment according to the standard, including any necessary sensors or measuring devices.

  4. Perform the test: Run the test according to the specified conditions and duration outlined in the standard. This may involve exposing the sample to specific temperature, humidity, vibration, or other environmental factors, either continuously or intermittently.

  5. Monitor and record the results: Monitor the sample during the test and record any relevant data, such as temperature, humidity, or vibration levels. Compare the results to the acceptance criteria outlined in the standard to determine if the sample has passed or failed the test.

  6. Interpret the results: Interpret the test results and use them to assess the sample's performance or suitability for its intended use.

It's important to note that the specific steps for running an IEC 60068 test will vary depending on the environmental factor being tested and the specific standard being followed. Therefore, it's crucial to carefully read and follow the instructions provided in the relevant standard to ensure accurate and reliable test results.

MIL-STD-810: This standard provides guidance for environmental testing and engineering considerations for military equipment and materials.

MIL-STD-810 is a series of military standards that outlines environmental testing procedures to simulate various environmental conditions. These tests are intended to ensure that military equipment can withstand environmental stresses and perform reliably in the field.

Running a MIL-STD-810 test typically involves the following steps:

  1. Identify the environmental conditions to be simulated: MIL-STD-810 covers a range of environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, altitude, vibration, shock, and more. Identify the environmental conditions relevant to the equipment being tested.

  2. Define the test plan: Develop a test plan that outlines the specific environmental stresses to be applied and the duration of each test.

  3. Prepare the test equipment: Set up the necessary equipment to apply the environmental stresses, such as a temperature chamber, vibration table, or shock machine.

  4. Perform the tests: Apply the specified environmental stresses to the equipment according to the test plan. Monitor the equipment during the test to ensure it is functioning properly and collect data on its performance.

  5. Evaluate the test results: Once the tests are complete, evaluate the results to determine if the equipment meets the required performance specifications. This may involve analyzing data collected during the test or conducting additional inspections or functional tests.

  6. Report the results: Document the test results in a comprehensive report that includes details on the test plan, environmental conditions, equipment setup, test results, and any observations or conclusions.

Overall, running a MIL-STD-810 test requires careful planning and execution to ensure that the equipment is subjected to the relevant environmental stresses and its performance is accurately evaluated. It is often recommended to work with experienced testing professionals or certified testing labs to ensure the test is performed correctly and to the required standards.

Humidity Ranges for Humidity Testing:

Humidity climatic test chambers can simulate a wide range of humidity conditions, depending on the specific requirements of the product or material being tested. Some of the humidity ranges used in humidity testing include:

High Humidity Testing: Humidity ranges for high humidity testing typically range from 70% RH to 100% RH.

Low Humidity Testing: Humidity ranges for low humidity testing typically range from 10% RH to 30% RH.


Humidity climatic test chambers are essential tools used in evaluating the performance and reliability of products and materials under different humidity conditions. Testing standards are used to ensure that the humidity testing process is accurate and reliable. Humidity ranges used in humidity testing can vary depending on the requirements of the product or material being tested. The primary purpose of humidity testing is to ensure that products and materials can withstand extreme humidity conditions and perform reliably under these conditions. Understanding humidity testing and standards is critical in ensuring the safety and reliability of products and materials in various industries.


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