We test environmental effects and IP/IK protection ratings for your products and devices
VDE
2018-07-27 312 0

Environmental simulations + protection rating tests at the VDE Institute

Electrical products must function safely. Not only does this apply under optimum outdoor conditions but also when extreme conditions are prevalent. The VDE Institute conducts a multitude of environmental simulation tests and protection class tests that reproduce all possible environmental effects. They range from temperature changes to vibrations to water or dust Ingress.

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Hartmut Berndt
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Environmental simulation and IP protection classes

Environmental tests at the highest level with the VDE Institute
VDE

The environmental simulation includes many different test methods for analyzing the interaction between a product and its environment. Generally speaking, environmental simulation tests are performed as part of the product safety inspection on components, devices and machines. The appropriate standards decide the characteristics that the product must have. The tests can also be conducted along with development. Special tests for determining certain product characteristics are also possible.

When determining the protection rating and IK and IP protection classes, it is mainly about determining the place of use. Depending on the product type and purpose, a certain protection rating (IP and/or IK) must be met, primarily for electrical equipment and systems used in industry. In our test laboratory, we can perform any tests that are required to obtain the IP or IK protection class. Water exposure can range from a light rain shower to complete submersion. In a pressure chamber at the VDE Institute, a submersion depth of up to 50 meters can be simulated with the resulting increased pressure of up to 5 bar. Dust ingress is tested in a special dust chamber. Naturally, touch protection is also part of the test suite. Using test probes and an internationally standardized test finger, VDE experts test if live or insufficiently insulated parts can be touched. The risk of electric shock must be eliminated. Furthermore, we test the housing’s level of protection against hazardous mechanical stress. It is afterwards confirmed in the IK classification.
If, for instance, the device is fully protected from the ingress of water, dust or foreign substances, it receives the highest protection class and is suitable for the outdoors.

Wide product range for environmental simulation and protection class

Environmental simulation testing in the dust chamber for obtaining the protection class
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Products for industrial technology in particular are often exposed to extreme conditions such as heat, dirt, moisture or mechanical impacts such as vibrations. The VDE Institute tests the shock resistance, the effect of very high and very low temperatures, moisture, high air humidity along with solar radiation and vibration. Our electrodynamic shaker allows us to conduct vibration tests that can be combined with climatic exposure.

Apart from these and many other environmental simulation tests, the VDE Institute naturally offers all product safety tests required by common standards along with tests for functional safety, electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and quality tests.

Safety-related tests comprise the complete product range for industrial technology. Cables and lines are tested for resilience. We test transformers and switching devices in our in-house, high-voltage laboratory. There are also tests performed on electric motors, industrial connectors and power supplies.

Creating trust in the consumer

Environmental simulation tests provide information on whether the product can be used indoors or outdoors
VDE

Manufacturers have access to expert VDE employees with years of experience and a comprehensively equipped test laboratory for environmental simulation and protection ratings. On the one hand, the testing of electrical devices, components and systems is based on VDE, DIN, EN, IEC and MIL standards; on the other hand, they are also based on manufacturer-specific standards. With the certification that environmental effects do not have any impact on the devices and the determination of IK and IP protection classes, manufacturers not only receive a certification of safety and quality. Based on the VDE mark, product purchasers can rest assured that the product meets the current state of the art and that flawless indoor and outdoor functionality is guaranteed. Consumers are paying attention to independent test marks like the VDE mark on an increasing number of products.

Some of our services in detail

The VDE Institute performs climate tests in many different climatic chambers

Climate testing

Temperature and moisture simulation.

The VDE Institute performs climate tests in many different climatic chambers

Temperature and moisture simulation.

  • Temperature range from -70°C to +180°C

  • Moisture range 10% to 98% relative humidity

  • Temperature change speed: max. 10 K/min

  • Load: max. 400 kg

  • Chamber volume max. 2400 liters

The VDE Institute offers corrosion testing for all products

Corrosion testing

Tests with salt spray and condensation water/SO2Kesternich.

The VDE Institute offers corrosion testing for all products

Tests with salt spray and condensation water/SO2Kesternich.

  • Temperature range up to 80°C chamber temperature
  • max. 500 kg load
  • 3500-liter chamber volume; dimensions: 2.20 m x 1.10 m x 1.00 m (1.40) m
  • Regulated moisture

 

 

 

At the VDE environmental laboratory, we conduct electrodynamic vibration tests

Electrodynamic shakers

Shakers with electrodynamic vibration generators and climate superimposition. Performance of vibration tests (sine, broadband noises, resonance search, dwell, sine in noises), combinable with climatic exposure.

At the VDE environmental laboratory, we conduct electrodynamic vibration tests

Shakers with electrodynamic vibration generators and climate superimposition. Performance of vibration tests (sine, broadband noises, resonance search, dwell, sine in noises), combinable with climatic exposure.

  • max. Vector force: 120 kN
  • Frequency range: 0 to 3000 Hz
  • max. Amplitude: ± 38 mm
  • max. Speed 3 m/smax. Test item weight 400 kg
  • max. Sliding table dimensions 1.2 m x 1.2 m
  • Temperature range: -70°C to +180°C without moisture, +10°C to +90°C with moisture
  • Temperature change speed max. 15 K/min.
  • Temperature - moisture range: +10°C to +95°C; 10% relative humidity to 95% relative humidity
  • Chamber volume 2200 liters; dimensions: 1.40 m x 1.40 m x 1.10 m
We test the IP + IK protection rating at the VDE Institute’s environmental test center

IP + IK protection rating

Test facility for testing foreign substance and touch protection along with water protection (IP code) for components, housings, empty housings, equipment, devices and motors.

We test the IP + IK protection rating at the VDE Institute’s environmental test center

Test facility for testing foreign substance and touch protection along with water protection (IP code) for components, housings, empty housings, equipment, devices and motors.

  • Dust chamber, test room dimensions up to a maximum of 4.50 m x 3.00 m x 3.00 m; max. test item weight 1000 kg
  • Pivot pipe with a maximum radius of 1.60 m; swing angle up to 360°
  • High-pressure water testing facility for IPX9K
  • Jet nozzle
  • Submersion device D x H: 1.60 m x 1.60 m
  • Pressure tank for submersion depths up to 100 m (1000 kPa), D x H: 1.60 m x 1.60 m

 

 

 

We can perform shock tests at the VDE environmental test center

Shock testing

Pneumatic shock test machine for shock tests.

We can perform shock tests at the VDE environmental test center

Pneumatic shock test machine for shock tests.

  • Pulse shapes: Half sine/saw tooth/rectangle

  • Acceleration: 3000 m/s² (typical example: at 0.5 ms pulse duration and 10 kg load)

  • Shock sequence: max. 4 shocks per minute

We can test with and without moisture at the VDE Institute’s solar simulation facility

Sun simulation

Solar simulation facilities with Xenon or metal halide spotlights, combinable with climatic exposure.

We can test with and without moisture at the VDE Institute’s solar simulation facility

Solar simulation facilities with Xenon or metal halide spotlights, combinable with climatic exposure.

  • Radiation strength: 800 to 1200 W/m²
  • Spectrum: 280 to 3000 nm
  • Temperature range: without moisture -20°C to +100°C, with moisture +15°C to +80°C
  • Moisture range: 10% relative humidity to 80% relative humidity
  • Chamber volume: 600 liters
Have your devices tested for temperature and temperature shock sensitivity

Temperature shock

Simulation of temperature and temperature shock (up to 1.40 m x 1.40 m x 1.10 m).

Have your devices tested for temperature and temperature shock sensitivity

Simulation of temperature and temperature shock (up to 1.40 m x 1.40 m x 1.10 m).

  • 2-Chamber temperature shock cabinet (-80°C bis +220°C, max. 20 kg load, 120-Liter chamber volume)

  • 3-chamber temperature shock cabinet (-80°C to +220°C, max. 20 kg load, 120-Liter chamber volume) 

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