Sand and Dust Testing
August 17, 2020
The purpose of testing for sand and dust ingress is to ensure the proper functionality and durability of devices and mechanisms in varying environments.
Products may operate without issues in a laboratory with controlled air and temperature, but products operating in the open world are subjected to the ambient air containing microparticles.
Sand and dust chambers are used to measure a product’s casing or enclosure’s ability to prevent dust ingress. Such products are rated by the IP Code (International Protection Marking), established by the International Electrochemical Commission standard IEC 60529.
IEC 60529 standard specifies multiple levels of protection from both dust and water ingress with detailed specifications for each level. The first digit refers to solids, second digit refers to liquids.
Testing for sand and dust ingress is especially important for microelectronics and integrated circuits where consistent operation is required indefinitely, or for devices and mechanisms which are expected to operate in harsh environments. Settling dust chambers test products by essentially showering the product with coats of dust within a chamber; this simulates the natural accumulation of dust from a product sitting in a typical location open to the atmosphere.
Why do you need dust testing?
Many electronics and machinery remains in one place for long periods of time, and therefore accumulates dust, especially in environments with poor air flow, such as office buildings, laboratories, and store rooms. Settling dust testing determines a product’s ability to function in the real world, where dust penetrates into cracks, openings,and joints, and interferes with moving parts, mating parts, and filters. The test also evaluate the effectiveness of the filters.
The test conditions like temperature, storage method of the product (covered, uncovered, open, etc.) and type of dust are determined based on the location where the product is meant to be used. The product is placed in a dust chamber that is set to appropriate conditions for the product’s target location, and then the chamber allows dust to settle on the product in a controlled environment.
LIB LIB INDUSTRY provides the following standard sand and dust test chambers
- DIN-40050 IP5X & IP6X