MIL-STD-810 Test Method 504, Contamination by Fluids

MIL-STD-810 Test Method 504 – Contamination by Fluids


Quick look:

  • Tests for fluid contamination
  • Used to determine if a product will stand up in the field to rigorous cleaning and exposure to various chemical fluids
  • Most commonly used in the military and aviation industry



About MIL-STD-810 Method 504

Test method 504 is contamination by fluids. It’s predominantly used in the aircraft industry, where a crew chief works on a hydraulic system on an aircraft and then fires up a display, reconfigures a switch or does something similar. The test addresses whether or not your product can withstand fluids in your application that could contaminate your product, like:

  • IPA or JP4
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Various kinds of cleaners, like NUC chem or biohazard decontamination cleaning processes

The options are endless, so it really depends on the application. In the electronics industry, we see this a lot in displays or anytime there is equipment that could be reconfigured or is near a contamination point, such as switches.

As with most tests, the key is to know exactly what you are looking for:

  • Does the paint come off?
  • Does it damage the electronics?
  • Does the conformal coating come off?
  • Does it damage any adhesives causing labels to fall off?
  • Is the information on the label present after you’ve cleaned the unit or after it’s been exposed to jet fuel, hydraulic oil or any of the common cleaning agents found in military or heavy industrial applications?

The focus of Method 504 is ensuring you have a unit that is not affected by common chemicals used in the military or in a heavy industrial environment. Test parameters could be exposure times or the roughly 26 different chemicals that a unit might be exposed to—another case where this test is highly configured.

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