First of all, what is a test chamber? A test chamber is a contained room or space with highly-controlled environmental conditions such as the temperature, pressure and humidity. It is used most often to test products for different factors such as their stability, reliability of packaging, shelf life and general suitability for use. There are many different types of test chambers depending on what environmental condition it controls. Some of these types are the following: temperature-only chambers, temperature/humidity chambers, solar testing chambers and thermal shock chambers.
A thermal shock chamber or a thermal test chamber lets you expose a product to extreme degrees of heat and coldness at a short interval. This tests how the product or specimen reacts to sudden changes in temperature. If you are looking to find out the basics for using a thermal test chamber, here are some easy pointers and guidelines to follow:
- Know the safe temperature (and other conditions’) ranges. Check with the test chamber’s manufacturer as to what the safe working conditions are for operating your thermal test chamber. Sticking to the safe limits will ensure longer life for your equipment; also, if your test chamber malfunctions because you didn’t follow the recommended temperature levels many manufacturers will consider your equipment void of the warranty.
- Know the contact numbers and support numbers of your test chamber’s manufacturer. Try calling this number to see if it is easily accessible. This will help you be rest assured that in case of an emergency, help is easy to come by.
- Check out the website of your test chamber’s manufacturer. In the case of Associated Environmental Systems, a leading producer of different kinds of test chambers, you’d be able to benefit from a “live chat” with a support technician who can address your concerns and inquiries.
- Make sure that the test chamber you are using is specific for your needs. Of course, you should always start by knowing which test chamber to use. For example, if you need to subject your specimen or product to sudden changes of temperature, you’d need a specific thermal shock chamber. A regular temperature test chamber can expose your specimen to wide ranges of temperature but this change occurs gradually over some period of hours. There are also specific test chambers used for particular cases, such as for the testing of pharmaceutical products. In other words, it’s highly important that you read up on your test chamber’s specifications and capabilities before you start using it.
- Know of its features. To be sure that you are using your thermal test chamber to its full potential, it’s important that you know of its additional features. Find out its load capacity, its memory capability (and whether this is upgradable), how compact and mobile it is, and to what level you could control its settings.
- Another thing to know would be its maintenance procedures. Remember, test chambers are equipment that need specialized handling so to make sure it remains in good condition, read up on how to maintain it: within what temperature ranges it must be kept in, how to test it for efficiency, and what to do in cases of emergency such as if your laboratory experiences blackouts.
There you have it! These are just some guidelines to remember when using your thermal test chamber. As with any other scientific equipment, remember, proper handling and maintenance is highly important! Good luck!