Many systems and components have to be tested under extreme climate conditions inside environmental chambers to analyze their stability over time.
Until recently, manufacturers could only measure a product before and after it was exposed to a predetermined temperature and humidity profile, making it difficult to know exactly how much and when components might change while they were subjected to extreme climate conditions.
Now engineers at Aicon (Braunschweig, Germany; www.aicon3d.com) and Dynamic Intelligent Solutions (Clinton Township, MI, USA; www.dynamic3dmeasure.com) have devised the ChamberCam, an environmental chamber equipped with a vision system that captures images of components under test.
ChamberCam is based on Aicon's MoveInspect Technology, which allows engineers to measure parts from a few millimeters to many meters in size. However, to endure the extreme temperatures that can occur in environmental chambers, Aicon modified the system. A special housing was developed for the cameras to ensure they would operate between a temperature range of -50° and +150°C. Concurrently, the team worked on developing an environmental management system.
The result is a measurement system that can provide detailed data about the stability of a component during an environmental test. No matter how long the test lasts—from several minutes to several days—the user can clearly see at what point in time, and under which temperature, structural damage occurs.