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Jim Shaw, EVP of Engineering at Crystal Group, discusses MIL-STD-810 Method 506.5 Testing.

MIL-STD-810 Test Method 506.5 Rain

Hi Jim Shaw from Crystal Group here, taking a road trip today. Thought we’d do a deeper dive into MIL-STD-810, Method 506 which is rain and driving rain, so gonna fill up here, hang on a second. I always like to get the wash. I go for the works. So, method 506 is essentially a portion of MIL-STD-810 that talks about rain, driving rain, blowing rain, dripping rain. A lot of it’s intended for structures and shelters and things like that, not necessarily associated with computer equipment which is what we do. But, it depends on what you’re trying to test.

So, for us, most of the testing that we do would be related to dripping rain, and for that type of an application you’re looking at around 1.7 mm per minute or roughly 4 inches per hour of rain. So, when we’re talking about MIL-STD, 506 we’re generally talking about that kind of dripping effect and really that there’s not so much of a driving rain type of a thing, that’s usually something you’d do in an enclosure. So, let’s go get it washed.

So, what are the things that we’re looking for when we’re doing the rain test?  And, of course, with electronics we’re always looking for, ‘are we having electrical shorts problems?’, that kind of thing.  That’s something that we, when we build an enclosure and we claim to be IPC 67, that’s essentially what we mean, is we can be submerged for up to 30 minutes at one meter.  This particular unit that you’re seeing here is actually more robust than that.

We haven’t actually tested it to IP68, but we certainly have put it into a lot of tradeshow booths before and left it there. So, again, there are three procedures that are in MIL-STD-810 Method 506. There’s the first procedure which is essentially driving and blowing rain, there is the second procedure which is kind of an extreme rain condition, and then there is the third procedure which is essentially dripping. MIL-STD-810 and this particular method actually has a blueprint for building a lot of the tooling associated with doing the test, so they tell you what the hole sizes are, and what the drip rate, in terms of gallons per minute or liters per minute, of drip that the unit needs to be exposed to. So, it makes for an interesting test because you get to build some of the equipment to do the testing.

Part of the MIL-STD is also subjecting units to high pressure exposure, and so you’re really looking for, do the seals stand up, do you have leakage, is there any corrosion shortly after the testing, what kind of gaskets, how the gaskets are performing? Things like that. So, these are additional things that you’re looking for.

So, that’s the way we do it at Crystal Group, and this is really the summary of our MIL-STD-810, Method 506.  And that’s a little bit about the spec, and a little bit about the product.  We’ve got the SE16 in the back of the truck here, we just took it for a little wash.  That’s a completely sealed unit that has an i5, i3 processor in it, and up to 6 2.5” solid state drives, completely sealed. So, thanks, again!

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