What is the Difference Between Thermal Shock and Temperature Cycle Testing?

Our customers often ask, What is the Difference Between Thermal Shock and Temperature Cycle Testing?  Both types of tests expose products to cycles between hot and cold temperatures.  Both tests produce stresses caused by thermal expansion and contraction.  In many cases, components expand and contract differently.  This creates cumulative fatigue damage during each cyclic, which could result in a fatigue failure.

Thermal shock exposes devices to rapid temperature changes greater than 15°C/minute.  Temperature cycle testing uses a transition rate less than 15°C/minute and is usually between 1 to 10°C/minute from our experience. 

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