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Small Chambers: Size and Testing Considerations

Small Chamber Blog

What are small chambers and what are their benefits? You may have been considering these questions for a while but need help with how to answer them. Let Associated Environmental Systems (AES) help.

What Is A Small Test Chamber?

Small chambers are environmental test chambers that simulate different environmental conditions in a controlled space to test the effectiveness of products. Industries like automotive, pharmaceutical, consumer electronics and even more rely on small chambers as a valuable investment. Our stackable benchtop testing chambers offer more than convenience—their compact size offers flexible and accommodating features that large chambers simply cannot provide. From battery testing to temperature cycling, benchtop test chambers can achieve a wide variety of testing requirements for your business. Learn more about size and testing considerations to prepare for your next purchase.

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Benchtop Environmental Chambers: Size and Testing Considerations

1. Product-to-Workspace Ratio

Determining the volume you need for testing is essential. We typically recommend that your ideal product volume ratio to chamber space be 1:3 to facilitate proper airflow during tests. This ratio applies to a single device under testing (DUT) and the total number in the load. If your DUT is less dense, a smaller chamber requires less space, meaning a smaller chamber is your perfect choice. 

Apart from volume, choosing a smaller chamber helps accommodate live-load testing. Many DUTs produce immense heat, which can impact the chamber’s pull-down rates and humidity features. Most smaller chambers, such as benchtop chambers, have great airflow, allowing them to handle a live load. Their quick rise and pull-down rate guarantee that the DUT will get to temperature quicker in a given workspace. To give an example, our benchtop battery test chambers, including the SCH Series (temperature and humidity chambers) and SC series, are considered the world's most powerful benchtop humidity and temperature-only chambers due to their rise and pull-down rate of 5°C per minute. 

2. Lab Space & Cost-Effectiveness 

Understanding your lab space is extremely important. With smaller test chambers, you can maximize your space much more efficiently than with a larger chamber. Not only does stacking eight cu/ft chambers, two or three tall, provide twice to three times the density in the same lab footprint as opposed to one sixty-four c/ft chamber, but especially in the case of battery testing, the testing of the price per channel is optimized. An eight cu/ft chamber is going to be a sixth of the price of a sixty-four cu/ft chamber. Two small chambers could be the cost of one larger chamber. That sounds like the better deal!

3. Temperature Uniformity

Additionally, multiple smaller chambers provide expert temperature uniformity. Implementing several smaller chambers gives you the option to perform different temperature variations on your cells, thus minimizing the risk if a defect is found through testing. For example, rather than test 100 DUTs at once, you could divide them into four stackable benchtop smaller chambers with varying temperatures and humidities all at the same time.

4. False Assumptions 

Unfortunately, many companies assume that to maximize channel count or to test the most amount of DUTs, they must have the biggest chamber. Let’s debunk that false assumption once and for all: big does not always mean better. When it comes to environmental test chambers, benchtop environmental chambers are more than often the best solution.

Smaller chambers can help businesses optimize floor space while maintaining safety, ergonomics, and testing requirements with their lean manufacturing approach. Benchtop chambers are intentionally designed to sit on easy-to-access shelves and tables or can be stacked to double or triple-floor space in your lab. Their internal volume typically includes up to 1 to 13 cubic feet of space, allowing your device under testing (DUT) or smaller components to be tested adeptly. Their efficiency and smaller size can double your testing results and diversify testing. 

AES Benchtop Chambers

Our wide variety of benchtop models can be applied for battery testing, temperature cycling, and stability testing. They are available in temperature-only chambers, humidity chambers, laboratory and liquid-cooled ovens, and salt spray chambers. Most commonly, our customers request benchtop chambers for humidity or temperature-only testing purposes. A standard benchtop humidity chamber can cost around $14,700, while a temperature-only chamber starts at just under $14,000 for the smallest models. And if you require a larger chamber to test products, AES also has larger chambers in stock.

Explore Our Benchtop Chamber Resources

As you’re considering which small test chamber to buy, we invite you to learn more about the purchasing process, lab space requirements, and more. Read through the following resources:

Contact AES Today

Ready to get started, or curious to learn more? Chat with one of our experienced and professional sales engineers today! We look forward to helping you pick the right benchtop chamber for your needs.