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© aydindurdu dreamstime.com Business | April 07, 2016

Electrolube extends in-house testing with thermal shock chamber

Electro-chemicals manufacturer, Electrolube, has recently invested in a new Thermal Shock Chamber, enhancing its sequential in-house testing capabilities.
The test laboratory grade system can achieve a rate of change of temperature close to 40°C per minute, and has a working temperature range from -65°C to +200°C, facilitating severe testing of electronic assemblies, representative of real environments, which is particularly critical for those destined for military and harsh automotive applications.

© Electrolube
A thermal shock chamber cycles rapidly from low to high temperatures to study how test specimens, contained within the chamber, cope under such conditions, including the effects of rapid expansion and contraction on PCB substrates, coatings and adhesives. The hot and cold cycles make the test subject expand and contract rapidly. Due to the variety of thermal coefficients of expansion of the materials used in the construction of a printed circuit board (PCB) this places significant stress on the test substrate. If the item is coated with a conformal coating or encapsulated with a resin this can often crack due the accelerated change – effectively a ‘Thermal Shock’; when a material just can't catch up to the rate of the environmental temperature change surrounding it.

Thermal shock is a major challenge to this technology, so Electrolube will also use the new test equipment, which is in situ at both of its key manufacturing sites in the UK and China, to speed the development of robust VOC-free products and their time-to-market.

Through investment in the Espec system, Electrolube has extended their facility to run individual thermal cycling routines, which considerably improves its responsiveness to clients facing short design-to-manufacture lead times.
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