Humidity is one of the key concerns of product creators. Because a product may face a wide range of humidity over the course of its lifetime, it is important that it is able to stand up against the elements and still remain functional. For that reason, humidity testing has become one of the top four product reliability testing criteria, along with temperature, vibration, and shock testing. Testing the products reaction to humidity is performed by climactic laboratories that feature specialized equipment for both initiating the rise or drop in humidity and temperature as well as recording measurements with advanced computers and programs.
The problem with humidity is that it can cause serious damage to a number of different materials. Specifically, some forms of metal begin to corrode much quicker in the presence of a humid environment. This means that products that contain the specific metal in components must have those components adequately protected in order to stay operational. Unlike HALT procedures, the humidity testing will rarely have an immediate result as corrosion and other forms of damage can take a long amount of time to develop. However, performing these tests helps companies avoid recalls and other expensive problems associated with premature malfunctions. Having knowledge of a product's limits means that the company can redesign the product to be stronger by using other materials that are less susceptible to the stress of humidity.
An alternative to a traditional humidity only test is by using salt fog or salt spray, which adds a saline or corrosive element to the high humidity levels. These fogs and sprays are meant to mimic the high-humidity state commonly found in marine environments and discover when the components of a product start to corrode or have other types of damage. In general, a company that provides humidity testing services will frequently incorporate the procedure into a full product reliability testing package like HALT or HASS testing. While nearly any product can benefit from a full humidity test, the most common applications are with marine and aerospace products.
All About Humidity Testing