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Jim Shaw, Crystal Group’s EVP of Engineering explains why MIL-STD-810, Method 509.5 (salt fog) is performed to determine the effectiveness of protective coatings and finishes on material.

MIL-STD-810 Test Method 509.5 Salt Fog

Hi, Jim Shaw here from Crystal Group. Doing a little bit deeper dive again into MIL-STD-810. Today we’re talking about method 509 which is essentially salt fog testing. What we’re doing is we’re measuring the resistance of the product, in this case servers, to resist the exposure or withstand exposure to salt in the environment. And this is usually something that’s relatively important in naval applications but it could be anything and so what we’re looking for in a salt fog test is essentially corrosion and degradation of the materials associated with the product.

For instance, the effect of salt on aluminum or salt on contacts or materials that would create, potentially, shorts in the system or damage to the material properties. Normally this test is done for four days and so it’s a 24-hour spray of a 5% salt solution and the temperature is generally kept around 35 degrees. And then after 24 hours the unit is taken out and allowed to dry for 24 hours. And then it goes back in the chamber and is subjected to the 5% salt spray, or salt fog, for another 24. And then it comes out and does another 24-hour dry.

And then the unit is powered on and there’s a physical inspection where you’re just verifying that everything is working and that the codings that you put into the product are resistant to corrosion from the salt fog. So in essence, that’s really what the salt fog test is for and you’re just looking for resistance of the codings to breaking down or corrosion of the materials. So that’s method 509 in a nutshell. Thanks a lot.

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