MIL STD 810 501 Test Method – High Temperature

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Jim Shaw, EVP of Engineering at Crystal Group, describes the testing process and procedure for MIL STD 810, Method 501.

MIL-STD-810 Test Method 501 – High Temperature

Hi, Jim Shaw here from Crystal Group.  Spending just a moment talking about, a little bit about
MIL-STD-810 and diving in a little bit deeper about some of the test procedures and processes and methods that are available within MIL-STD-810. And 810 is really the compilation of 24 different tests that are available for either an integrator to specify or an engineer to design to or test to. And those procedures, they really start out MIL-STD-810, then there’s usually a Rev. letter and then anywhere from 500 to 523, so there’s 24 different test methods.

Those tests include low pressure, high temperature, low temperature, temperature shock, contamination by fluids, solar radiation or sunshine, rain, humidity, fungus, salt fog, sand and dust, explosive atmosphere, immersion, acceleration, vibration, acoustic noise, shock, pyroshock, acidic atmosphere, gunfire vibration, temperature-humidity, vibration and altitude, icing freezing rain, ballistic shock and vibro acoustic temperature. So those are the 24 different tests that are available under MIL-STD-810 and each one of those tests have a variety of potential procedures and processes that need to be specified by the customer.

So let’s just look at one example of MIL-STD-810. Let’s pick Method 501 which is high temperature operation. That test method is broken up into procedure 1 and procedure 2. The first one is storage and the second one is operation. What are you looking for when you are doing this kind of testing? You’re looking for circuit board stability, the electronics actually operating in a stable manner. You’re looking for, in our industry is the CPU throttling or starting to inject wait states into the process?

Are the chipsets for the circuit board working correctly? Are the magnetics in the power supply starting to suffer some loss of capability because of hysteresis? You’re looking for deterioration of bonded surfaces. Anything that would impact the short term or potentially long term of the product. For us we are obviously looking at, we want to be substantially below the maximum limit for the temperatures so that we can insure that the product has a long life.

Ultimately it’s not just about the immediate performance, whether or not the CPU is working, but will the product last a long time in that environment? We’re obviously looking at how to get those components cool and keep them cool in the operation of the unit over its lifetime. Method 501 is just one of those 24 test methods that are available in MIL-STD-810 and it just happens to be high temperature operation and storage. Again you can dive down into procedure 1, procedure 2 and all of the variables that are associated with that particular application.

We find its best to just set a limit and then make that limit fairly extreme and then perform all of our products to those limits. An example +55 to -40 is what we shoot for all of our products so that we don’t have to continually change the test process. But again that’s just one of those test methods that we’re talking about today and there’s 23 other ones that you can look at. Have a great day.

Learn More About MIL-STD 810 Testing Methods: