Standard & Customized Environmental Testing Chamber
NATC offers numerous environmental test facilities for evaluating operability and material properties of vehicles, subsystems and components in extreme environments. We have environmental and climatic chambers and years of experience performing standard and customized environmental testing. Our chambers are capable of running 24/7 and can achieve cyclic and non-cyclic temperature extremes of -60 °F up to 160 °F (-51 °C to 71 °C) while maintaining a breathable air environment for performing operation checks at temperature. The chambers are reconfigurable and expandable, capable of fitting test articles ranging from small components to oversized vehicles as long as 85 feet. We set up the chambers to create simulated environments and climates with humidity, solar radiation (simulated sunshine), salt fog, dust, rain, ice and snow, as required. We use our wind machine when establishing simulated environments and climates for performing blowing rain, blowing sand and blowing dust evaluations. Furthermore, we configure the chambers to integrate with durability and reliability tests to ensure full vehicle system exposure.
Environmental chamber dimensions:
- Chamber #1 – 16 feet (w) x 16 feet (h) x 54 feet 6 inches (l)
- Chamber #2 – 18 feet 10 inches (w) x 20 feet 6 inches (h) x 32 feet (l)
- Chamber #3 – 8 feet (w) x 6 feet 7 inches (h) x 18 feet 6 inches (l)
- Chamber #4 – 6 feet (w) x 6 feet 10 inches (h) x 5 feet 4 inches (l)
- Chamber #5 – 17 feet (w) x 16 feet (h) x 40 feet (l)
Other environmental and climatic testing capabilities include, but are not limited to, the following.
- Customizable temperature ramping and cycling
- Rampable solar radiation up to 1120 W/m² (simulated sunrise and sunset)
- Temperature shock
- Humidity from two percent up to 100 percent
- Wind speeds in excess of 100 mph
- In-chamber dynamometer
- Testing to: ASTM, SAE, IEC, EEC/ECE, GM, MIL-STD-810
Commercial testing of air conditioning systems, defrosting/ defogging systems, engine cold and hot starting, tire aging and extreme temperature characterization, vehicle full and road load cooling, and vehicle paint and rust protection coatings can be performed. Sensors and data acquisition equipment are available to measure and record virtually any quantity, frequency and type of test parameter of interest, including (but not limited to) engine, wheel and fan speeds; manifold, coolant and hydraulic line pressures; vehicle component, reservoir, exhaust and surface temperatures; exhaust gas emissions; and fuel, air, lubricant and coolant flow rates. Dedicated data acquisition systems allow up to 250 channels of simultaneous data collection and analysis of both digital and analog signals. NATC designs instrumentation applications to meet customer needs and all necessary instrumentation is available on site, allowing for efficient, “one-stop” testing.
Corrosion Test Chamber
NATC is an industry leader in full-vehicle and component-level accelerated corrosion testing. We use standards created by OEMs, the Department of Defense (DoD) in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and internally developed procedures. We perform accelerated corrosion testing to determine a product’s resistance to corrosion for aesthetics, reliability, reduction of warranty claims and overall life cycle cost. Our corrosion facilities include the environmental chambers, a walk-in sized environmental chamber, various salt spray application devices, and water fording facilities ranging from shallow high-speed splash to deep water. The dedicated corrosion chamber has a pH meter embedded in the salt solution supply line for monitoring and recording pH of the salt solution during each salt fog application. Our specialized vibration courses include Belgian Block, chatter bumps, potholes, washboard, and more. Our full-service accelerated corrosion development programs enable us to identify less than desirable corrosion characteristics prior to releasing an item to market.
Corrosion is one of the more critical and influential variables that contributes to a vehicle’s overall life cycle cost and durability, and we understand the detrimental effects it may have on a vehicle system. When performing durability corrosion testing, we evaluate a test article’s duty cycle and focus on the elements that have the greatest effect on corrosion characteristics. To evaluate those effects, we conduct many corrosion/durability evaluations where discrete over-the-road type corrosion elements are introduced to the test article within its mission profile mileage accumulation. We ensure repeatable results by using standardized coupons during testing to monitor corrosion rate and mass loss.
NATC’s dedicated corrosion chamber:
- Custom design testing
- Component and full vehicle testing
- Dehumidification system
- Controlled storage (ambient) conditions for repeatable storage cycles and controlled ramp times from high to low RH conditions
- Integrated refrigeration system with controlled storage conditions
- Automated salt fog system
- Coupon racks
- Temperature/humidity control
- Conducts corrosion testing to the following standards: GM, MIL-STD-810E/F, ASTM B117, SAE, EEC/ECE, IEC