Rapid Highly Accelerated Life Testing or Rapid HALT is a reliability test method that is used to expose product weaknesses. A Rapid HALT procedure is a modification of a Classical HALT procedure. For more information about Classical HALT procedures, refer to the following blog articles:
- What is HALT Highly Accelerated Life Testing and why perform HALT?
- What is a typical HALT procedure?
A Rapid HALT is an abbreviated HALT, typically one day of tests, making it a great cost-effective solution for those seeking faster qualitative results. Exposing a product to a Rapid HALT early in the design process can help reduce product development time and cost by enabling manufacturers to identify flaws or areas of improvement before it’s too late.
Rapid HALT’s are a good tool for assessing the reliability of different suppliers of components but can also be used to assess the reliability of less complicated products. For example, DES has performed Rapid HALT’s to evaluate the reliability of different suppliers of power supplies, cooling fans, and LED’s. DES has also performed a Rapid HALT to study different fastening methods in order to determine which was more robust.
Rapid HALT profiles may vary slightly depending on the product. Figure 1 illustrates DES’s standard Rapid HALT profile. Vibration levels are ramped up concurrently with hot and cold temperature cycles. The stresses are increased until the practical limits of products have been reached. Examples of practical limits include the melting temperature of solder joints or excessive softening of plastics. These stress levels are obviously well beyond the scope of most product designs and that is ok. The purposes of any HALT is time compression by applying higher-than-normal stress levels. The user should not necessarily focus on what level of stress caused the problem, but should focus on improving the weak points in their product.
Many times our customers are surprised with the Rapid HALT results because the less expensive components perform better. Thus our customers are able to apply a significant cost reduction to their products. This results in increased profits and reduced warranty costs.