Accelerated Life & Stress Testing (HALT/HASS)
Would you like to minimize your warranty claims, reduce field failures, and minimize time to market while increasing customer confidence in the reputation of your products? Our highly accelerated life testing services might be what you need.
Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT), Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS), and Accelerated Weathering are three methods utilized for early determination of potential problems your products may encounter during the course of their lifetime. These methods are conceptually similar to fatigue testing, as they attempt to wear out test materials or products at highly accelerated rates.
Highly Accelerated Life Test (HALT)
HALT Testing, also known as Highly Accelerated Life Testing, is a technique designed to discover weak links of a product. Utilizing the two most common testing stimuli, temperature and vibration, it can precipitate failure modes faster than traditional testing approaches. Rather than applying low stress levels over long durations, HALT testing applies high stress levels for short durations well beyond the expected field environment. It uses an incremental step stress approach, increasing variables until anomalies occur. As HALT testing is designed to precipitate failures, it is not a pass/fail test and requires root cause analysis and corrective action to achieve optimum value from testing. It creates the ability to learn more about the product’s design and material limitations and provides opportunities to continually improve the design before bringing the product out to market. As most items are only as good as their weakest link, the testing should be repeated to systematically improve the overall robustness of the product.
A typical HALT testing program includes five individual tests:
- High temperature step stress
- Low temperature step stress
- Vibration step stress
- Rapid thermal cycling
- Combined Environment
Each test has a specific goal. This may be examining material degradation (cracking, blistering, warping, melting, etc.) as a result of cold and hot environments, discovering mechanical issues (breaking, cracking and loosening of samples), or better understanding potential electrical issues (fretting, discontinuities and variances in change of electrical performance).
Highly Accelerated Stress Screening (HASS)
HALT testing is typically employed during the design or development stages of a product life cycle. HASS testing is slightly different, because its purpose is to speed the discovery of latent defects in manufacturing during the production stages of a product life cycle to reduce associated failures. The HASS process utilizes similar equipment to the HALT process, and the development of a usable HASS profile requires previous HALT results as well as other data and related validation information. In addition to identifying defects in existing products, HASS testing can also determine the impact that alternative components will have on your product design and durability.
Accelerated weathering is a type of accelerated life testing which produces the type of damage caused by sunlight and weather within a compressed period of time. Typically, accelerated weathering tests will cycle between intense UV and moisture exposure at controlled temperatures to achieve this end. These tests are often utilized to test the designs of equipment intended for outdoor applications to predict how they will withstand weather throughout their lifetimes.
To learn more about using our HALT/HASS testing or accelerated weathering capabilities to your advantage, contact NTS today. Learn more about how you can significantly improve your product’s quality and reliability.