When products are mainly exposed to temperature stresses in the field, Constant Temperature Accelerated Life Testing is used to simulate product life. Products can be tested at temperatures above their normal use temperature during Constant Temperature Accelerated Life Testing in order to accelerate aging. Defects or failure modes that would show up after many years in the field at normal use temperatures can be detected in short times in an Accelerated Life Test. In Constant Temperature Accelerated Life Testing, the typical failure mode is dependent on migration/diffusion or chemical reactions. These types of failures are typically found in electronic components but can also occur in other types of products or materials such as adhesives, batteries, etc. The Arrhenius Equation relates reaction rates to temperature and is used to correlate time in the field at normal use temperature to a Constant Temperature Accelerated Life Test. It should be noted that constant temperature testing will not precipitate failure modes due to thermal cycling. Temperature or thermal cycle testing will be discussed in another blog article.
The Arrhenius Equation that relates reaction rates to temperature is: