Electronic Equipment & Product Standards
IEC 60068 is an internationally recognized standard developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission. IEC 60068 is a collection of methods for environmental testing of electronic equipment, components and electromechanical products to assess their ability to perform and survive under conditions such as transportation, storage, operational environments, extreme cold and heat. IEC 60068 offers appropriate severities and prescribes various environmental conditions for measurements and tests in each test method. The below procedures in this standard provide a series of reproducible test methods. It is typical for companies to test their products to one or many of the standards below.
The specimens can be heat-dissipating or non-heat dissipating for test methods using constant temperature conditions such as IEC 60068-2-1, IEC 60068-2-2 and IEC 60068-2-78. A heat-dissipating subject is one where the hottest point of its surface measured in free conditions is greater than 5K higher than the ambient temperature of the surrounding atmosphere once the temperature stability has been achieved.
IEC 60068-2-1 Cold
This testing is aimed to determine the ability of equipment or components to be used, stored or transported at low temperature. This method uses constant cold temperature conditions. The tests in IEC 60068-2-1 are subdivided as follows:
Cold tests for non heat-dissipating specimens
• with gradual change of temperature, Ab;
Cold test for heat-dissipating specimens
• with gradual change of temperature, Ad,
• with gradual change of temperature, specimen powered throughout, Ae.
IEC 60068-2-2 Dry heat
This test investigates how well equipment or products perform when being used, transported or stored at high temperatures. This method uses constant hot temperature conditions, dry heat. The tests in IEC 60068-2-2 are subdivided as follows:
Dry heat test for non heat-dissipating specimens
• with gradual change of temperature, Bb.
Dry heat tests for heat-dissipating specimens
• with gradual change of temperature, Bd;
• with gradual change of temperature, specimen powered throughout, Be.
IEC 60068-2-5 Solar radiation testing
This method evaluates the anticipated effects of solar radiation on ground level products. It specifies ways of testing equipment or components under simulated solar radiation conditions and investigates how much effect solar radiation has on equipment in the presence of moisture. IEC 60068-2-5 specifies two testing methods, test method Sa: thermal effect test, and test method Sb: weathering test. Method Sa involves irradiating specimens in a test chamber under controlled temperature and humidity. Method Sb incorporates water spray.
IEC 60068-2-6 Vibration (sinusoidal)
IEC 60068-2-6 applies to components/equipment which may be subjected to vibrations of a harmonic pattern – due to rotating, pulsating or oscillating forces – during transportation or service. The test is aimed at determining mechanical weaknesses or degradation. IEC 60068-2-6 exposes specimens to sinusoidal vibrations over a specified frequency range for a specified duration.
For more information about Sinusoidal Vibration Testing, please see our Sinusoidal Vibration Testing blog article.
IEC 60068-2-7 Acceleration (steady state)
IEC 60068-2-7 evaluates the structural integrity and the satisfactory performance of products that would experience steady or constant acceleration forces. This testing can be performed on DES’s centrifuge.
IEC 60068-2-11 Test Ka: Salt mist
This test is also referred to as “salt spray testing” and “salt fog testing.” The climate is maintained under constant steady state conditions. The test duration varies depending upon the severity. It is useful for evaluating the corrosion resistance of paints and protective coatings.
IEC 60068-2-13 Low air pressure
The object of IEC 60068-2-13 is to investigate the ability of equipment or products to be used, stored or transported under low air pressure conditions at room temperature. This testing is also called altitude testing.
IEC 60068-2-14 Change of temperature
This method is designed to determine if equipment or products can withstand rapid changes in temperature. It’s a crucial test because of how often swift temperature changes can occur, either due to transport from warm outdoor temperatures to cold indoor conditions or vice versa, or exposure to weather conditions. IEC 60068-2-14 is recommended for evaluation of electrical & mechanical performance of products, the suitability of components, materials and combinations of materials to withstand rapid changes of temperature, and evaluation of the suitability of construction of components to withstand artificial stressing.
IEC 60068-2-27 Shock
IEC 60068-2-27 is intended for equipment or products that could be subjected to infrequent or repetitive shocks during storage, use or transportation. It is designed to uncover mechanical weaknesses and/or degradation caused by those shocks. Products are usually tested in an unpackaged condition, but can be tested in their transport case when the latter may be considered to be part of the specimen.
IEC 60068-2-27 provides guidance for the test severity and the shape of the shock pulse vs. product application in Annex A. Whenever possible, the test severity and the shape of the shock pulse should reproduce the effects of the actual environment to which the specimen will be subjected, or to satisfy the design requirements if the goal is to assess structural integrity.
For more information about Shock Testing, please see our Classical Shock Testing blog article.
IEC 60068-2-30 Damp heat, cyclic
This test looks at how products/equipment hold up during use, storage or transport under conditions of high humidity combined with cyclic changes in temperature. The temperature/humidity cycles in this method typically produce condensation on the surface of the specimen. Specimens should be evaluated in their packaging if the test is being used to verify their performance while being transported or stored in packaging. Consider the use of IEC 60068-2-38 for small, low mass specimens where itis difficult to produce condensation on the surface of the specimen.
IEC 60068-2-31 Rough handling shocks
IEC 60068-2-31 is a test procedure for simulating the effects of rough handling shocks, knocks, jolts and falls which may occur during repair work or rough handling in operational use. It is intended primarily for electronic equipment. This method does not simulate the effects of shocks received during transportation as loosely constrained cargo.
IEC 60068-2-38 Composite temperature/humidity cyclic test
This composite test evaluates how well products or equipment resist the deteriorative effects of high temperature, high humidity and cold conditions. It is designed to uncover defects in test subjects triggered by “breathing” as opposed to absorbing moisture. IEC 60068-2-38 is primarily intended for component type specimens.
The difference between IEC-60068-2-38 and other cyclic damp heat tests is that:
- A greater number of temperature cycles is performed
- A larger cyclic temperature range is used
- A higher temperature transition rate us used
- It includes a number of sub-zero temperature excursions
IEC 60068-2-39 Combined temperature or temperature/humidity with low air pressure tests
This method provides procedures for testing equipment or components under combined temperature or temperature/humidity with low air pressure. Products are required to function without significant degradation. The combined environments may have adverse effects on components and gaskets.
IEC 60068-2-52 Test Kb: Salt mist, cyclic
IEC 60068-2-52 uses a 2 part repeating cycle of salt mist (spray), followed by high humidity at elevated temperature. It is designed to evaluate whether products/equipment can withstand exposure to a salt-heavy atmosphere, as salt can degrade certain products/materials. The first part of the cycle is a wet or salt mist exposure for 2 hours. The humidity portion of the cycle is either 7 days or 20 to 22 hours depending on the test severity. The number of cycles required depends on the test severity. Afterwards, there is a three-day storage period at 21C to 25C and 45% to 55% humidity.
IEC 60068-2-55 Loose cargo testing, including bounce
IEC 60068-2-55 provides methods for determining the ability of a specimen to withstand specified severities of bounce, e. g. when transported as loose cargo on wheeled vehicles. Products are typically tested in their packaged configuration or in a transit case.
IEC 60068-2-64 Vibration, broadband random
This test deals with broadband random vibration, looking at equipment and products that may undergo vibrations that are random in nature. Random vibrations occur in shipping transportation and operational environments such as aircraft, space vehicles and land vehicles. IEC 60068-2-64 evaluates whether specimens can withstand dynamic loads without unacceptable degradation of their functional and/or structural integrity when subjected to specified random vibrations. This standard is primarily intended for unpackaged specimens. Products may be tested in their transportation container when this is considered to be part of the specimen.
For more information about Random Vibration Testing, please see our Random Vibration Testing blog article.
IEC 60068-2-78 Damp heat, steady state
IEC 60068-2-78 evaluates whether products or equipment can withstand transportation, storage and use under conditions of high temperature and humidity. The test conditions are high humidity at constant temperature without condensation on specimens over a prescribed period. It applies to small equipment or components, large equipment, and applies to both heat-dissipating and non-heat-dissipating specimens.
IEC 60068-2-80 Vibration - Mixed mode
The purpose of the test is to determine whether products can resist mixed mode vibration excitation without degradation of their functional and/or structural performance. Mixed more vibrations occur in helicopters and tracked vehicles such as tanks. This method is primarily intended for electronic or electromechanical type specimens, however it is not restricted to such products.
For more information about Mixed Mode Vibration Testing, please see our Mixed Mode Vibration Testing blog article.
IEC 60068-2-81 Shock - Shock response spectrum synthesis
IEC 60068-2-81 specifies test methods using a synthesized shock response spectrum (SRS). It is intended for for components, equipment and products that may experience complex transient shocks. This test method centers on the use of SRS and techniques associated with SRS.
For more information about SRS Testing, please see our blog article.