A lot can be said about the difference between an incubator and a climatic chamber.

 

Both are at the center of research and experimentation and are widely used today in several applications.

For clarity’s sake, however, the differences may be grouped simply:

 

incubators create environments; climatic chambers simulate extremes.

 

From this basic difference, a vast array of things follow, which can summed up by saying that incubators are generally used to grow cultures and climatic chambers are for industrial testing.  

difference between an incubator and a climatic chamber

Incubators create environments and are usually used to grow cultures

 

Rudimentary incubators have been profusely used in history.

 

At its core the idea is indeed simple and timeless: to create a specific environment for growth.

 

The tool has to keep certain conditions of temperature, CO2, oxygen, amongst others, towards doing experimental work.

 

The main purpose, therefore, is to create a stable environment, with controlled variables so that such trial may proceed.

There are several types of incubators, some quite simple and others more complex where more variables can be controlled, but the basic idea is the same:

 

(1) general purpose devices, may include forced convection or natural convection;

(2) carbon dioxide incubators, to create situations for natural cellular growth;

(3) refrigerated incubators, when there is a need for below ambient temperatures;

(4) shaking incubators, to provide agitation, ideal for liquid cultures for instance;

(5) BOD incubators, for specific biochemical oxygen needs.

 

Today, however, the market offers versions which combine the aforementioned functions into one product.

 

Incubators come in a variety of sizes, from tabletop devices to room-sized.

 

In general, they are not meant for use with hazardous substances.

 

Think of them as instruments for growth: tissue engineering, gene therapy, immunotherapy, stem cell research, etc.

 

All these so-called ‘advanced therapies medicinal products’ will use incubators in experimentation.

 

Agricultural research is, evidently, another field where incubators will be used.

 

The tool is, in essence, the heart of laboratory culture.

 

difference between an incubator and a climatic chamber

 

Climatic chambers simulate extremes and are usually used for industrial testing

 

A climatic chamber –also called an environmental chamber– is basically an enclosure to test the effects of particular conditions on biological items, industrial products, materials of different sorts, electronic devices, etc.

 

A chamber can have different sizes, depending on the types of testing required: some are large enough to walk into.

 

Different versions come with different functions; some may have digital outside screens.

 

They may also vary according to the needs of the particular industry using them.    

A climatic chamber may be used for individual testing on particular items, preparation of specimens for further tests of a different sort or replication of environmental conditions of other tests.

 

The idea is not only to expose components to different circumstances but also to increase effects to understand their impact, testing extreme conditions.

 

And to do all this with safety, of course.

The difference between an incubator and a climatic chamber types of testing can be climatic chamber testing or thermal shock, for example.

 

The idea is to put the items inside the chamber to withstand the chosen environmental conditions.

 

A climatic test is designed for simulation of an environment, exposing a particular item to such conditions.

 

Quite similar to an incubator, for sure.

 

But thermal shock, for example, is aimed at simulating changes in extreme climatic conditions in short periods of time.

 

It is the possibility of simulating extremes which characterizes a climatic chamber.

 

There is a wide array of testing:

 

  • temperature and humidity
  • UV exposure
  • accelerated aging
  • water
  • salt/fog
  • vibration
  • shock
  • impact
  • wind/rain
  • flammability

 

amongst many others…

 

This testing is performed in a vast range of industries such as electronics, automotive, plastics, metal, toys, paper products, chemicals and many more.

 

Think of the climatic chamber as the industrial go-to to get to know products under all sorts of variables and experimentation.

 

Conclusions

To find out the optimal conditions to grow a particular crop, say Cayenne pepper, an incubator would be used to run an experiment.

 

The aim would be finding the particular environment most suited to this particular seed.

On the other hand, to find out how a camera would fare in a place like Siberia, with its extremely low temperatures or in Death Valley with its high degrees, a climatic chamber would be preferred.

 

A test could go as low as -94°F (depending if a single stage or double stage chamber is being used) or as high as 194°F, to test

how the product would do in extreme conditions.

 

Today’s market and consumers are much more demanding, which requires merchandises to be tested to the extreme; we never know: a product may very well end up exposed to severe environments so we have to be able to anticipate this possibility

As mentioned at the beginning, the difference between an incubator and a climatic chamber is: the incubators create environments; climatic chambers simulate extremes.

 

Incubators and climatic chambers seem similar on paper but climatic chambers could be described as incubators “on steroids”, with a more varied functionality and a focus on extreme experimentation to prepare products for the market.

 

Climatic chambers are fundamental for preparing the product to be tested in all temperature variations around the world.

 

Which Climate Chambers FDM offers – Check here –

Frost Heave Testing methods using a Customized Test Chamber

frost heave testing chamber

What is Frost Heaving

 

Frost heaving (or frost heave) is a natural phenomena through which, in freezing conditions, soil swells up, as temperatures penetrate into it and ice grows upwards.

 

The ice crystals growth is restrained by the soil but that is not enough to contrast the formation of lenses within the soil that bind together with the latter and turn into a strong solid block that heaves the ground.

 

Normally the strength increases as the temperature is lowered.

 

This eventually damage roads and buildings, according to the type of soil and its moisture content.

 

Leading researchers such as Konrad, Morgenstern and Penner have studied frost heaving through various laboratory test methods in order to closely analyze the phenomenon.

 

Over time, some of the most important research centers around the world have proposed standardized test methods for research laboratories.

 

This is to guide them to better analyze the characteristics of frost heaving.

 

The references are the following:

 

  • TRRL (Transport and Road Research Laboratory) in the UK
  • ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials) in the USA (ASTM D5918)
  • JGS (Japan Geotechnical Society) in Japan (JGS 0172)

 

How to Simulate Frost Heaving

 

Preventing the process is extremely important but not easy.

 

An important customer of ours informed us about the difficulty in performing this type of test because of the unavailability on the market of a machine that could concretely verify the phenomenon.

 

That is why at FDM we developed a machine that could automatically perform the frost heave testing, simulating real environmental conditions.

 

The FDM SRU Frost heave chamber (FHU812)  was developed according to the according to the British standard BS 812-214.

 

It is composed by two different parts: a temperature- controlled part and a second environment where all the power and control components for the machine functioning are contained.

 

The temperature-controlled environment is divided into two tanks:

 

  1. A lower tank containing water at 4°C
  2. An upper tank containing refrigerated air at -17°C.

 

The tanks are independent from each other:

 

In between the tanks there is an intermediate cradle and a wooden support containing the samples to be tested.

 

The chamber also comes complete with a datum reference frame and 9 brass bars.

 

The 9 bars correspond to the 9 specimens that make the brass bars rise by capillary freezing.

 

Frost Heave Testing

fig1. FHU812 Testing chamber for frost heaving – composition 

 

How the SRU Machine Works

 

How does this machine work?

 

Exactly as a simulation of the natural phenomena, thus imitating the freezing of the soil.

 

The water from the temperature-controlled environment rises and freezes so to raise the bars.

The operator should measure every 24h how much bars raised. Measuring the lifting of each bar will then mean measuring the lifting of each sample.

 

The machine is equipped with a touch screen that automates the test as much as possible.

 

The user must load the chamber with the samples, install the reference frame, insert the brass rods and then start the test with a button on the touch screen.

 

The machine will take care of the rest by advising the user whenever it is necessary to check the heaving.

 

At the end of the test it is possible to remove the USB key and download on the PC all data from the eleven probes installed in the test volume onto a PC.

frost heave testing chamber

How we Facilitate your Tests

 

In FDM we are constantly looking for solutions to improve environmental tests in order to facilitate scientific researchers with efficient, reliable and above all customized machines for every type of use.

 

With this specific project, we were able to help a researcher who needed to simplify his testing process.

 

The operator revealed to us that the results were optimal.

 

The SRU has accelerated our client’s study processes by 60%, compared to its previous methods, and allowed it to obtain more reliable values.

 

In FDM we care about the needs of every customer, we listen to all requests and we try to meet all your testing requirements, even if it is a single customized machine.

 

By contacting FDM you will have immediate answers on feasibility and costs for your projects, with maximum transparency, professionalism and will to solve your problem.

Humans have used concrete for the past 5,000 to build monuments that would stand the test of time.

The Egyptians used an early form of concrete to build the pyramids.

Romans used the substance to build the mighty aqueducts that allowed the rapid growth of their empire.

In 1824, Joseph Aspdin invented Portland Cement, which people would use to create some of the modern marvels we see today.

Many of the ancient structures have either fallen or are in disarray however because of the carbonation of concrete.

What is carbonation, and what makes concrete so special? Read on to find out more and how manufacturers perform accelerated carbonation testing.

 

What Is Concrete?

Concrete is a composite material that consists of a matrix and a binder. The matrix is the aggregate of rocky material, generally limestone, granite, or gravel.

The binder is typically Portland cement; it holds the matrix together.

Based on Bogue’s equations, Portland cement contains between 60-67% CaO, 17-25% SiO2, 3-8% Al2O3, .5-6% Fe2O3, .1-4% MgO, 1.3-3% SO3, and .4 -1.3% Alkalies.

The chemical composition makes it durable, strong, and gives it the ability to lose plasticity and gain dense after the addition of water.

Water gets added to a dry powder and the aggregate, creating a mushy substance that workers can manipulate into any shape they need.

Structures that use Portland cement tend to use steel-bar reinforcement, creating a strong structure that can support a large amount of weight without bending or breaking.

The greatest threat to concrete structures is the carbonation process.

 

What Is the Carbonation of Concrete?

Carbonation is the chemical reaction between CO2 and the hydration compounds of cement in concrete structures.

The rate of carbonation depends on many physical characteristics, such as:

  • On-site preparation
  • Production and protection
  • The design of the structure

There are other factors that play a role as well, such as the location of the structure and its exposure to contaminants.

Environmental factors, such as heat, rain, snow, and humidity, also play a role in carbonation.

 

What Does Carbonation Effect?

Carbonation goes deeper into concrete over time, generally at a rate proportional to the square root of time.

It only takes a few hours for the concrete surface to react with the CO2 in the air. The reaction can reach a depth of 1mm for dense concrete, and a 5mm depth for porous and permeable concrete.

This process causes a domino effect: firstly the reduction of the ph, lowering the natural alkalinity of concrete from pH13 to pH8.

The lower pH causes in turn the passivation layer around the steel to break down, exposing reinforcement steel to water and air, bringing the steel to rust.

Rusty steel then expands and puts force on surrounding concrete.

The concrete eventually cracks, weakening the structure at an exponential rate.

Carbonation is a suspected cause, among many, of building failure in Lagos, Nigeria, an example of the damage that untested concrete can cause.

There is some good news, though.

Most people associate the carbonation process with the weakening of steel reinforcements and shrinkage, but not all the effects are bad.

Carbonation also increases the compressive and tensile strength of concrete. The key is to find the right balance. To do so, you need accelerated carbonation testing.

 

What Is Accelerated Carbonation Testing?

In its simplest terms, this test accelerates carbonation in a controlled environment.

It is a way for concrete professionals to test their product and determine the ability of the concrete to last in certain conditions. It is done through the corrosion resistance test.

Each test uses different parameters based on the type of conditions the concrete might see.

 

Some of these factors include:

  • The concentration of CO2 gas — This is an especially important factor for concrete used in cities with large amounts of pollution.
  • Humidity — It is preferable for humidity to be at 50%-70%. There is less water with higher humidity. Water inhibits CO2 diffusion when higher.
  • Temperature — In hotter environments, there is a higher carbonation rate.
  • Water to cement ratio — this determines the pore system of the concrete and degree of hydration.
  • Porosity and permeability

 

The problem is that it is difficult to control all of these variables without the proper equipment.

Any small change in these variables can lead to faulty test results or poor constructions.

In fact, even when researchers control these factors, there is still a difference between what is observed and what instead happens in a natural environment.

It is impossible to control for every possibility, but you can increase your odds with the right testing chamber.

Standards and Procedures for Testing the Carbonation of Concrete

Recommended outlines for carbonation testing are:

  • CO2 levels at 4%
  • Relative humidity levels at 65%
  • Temperature setting at 20°C
  • Active CO2 control
  • An efficient circulation fan
  • A reference mix
  • Calibration and adequate logging of results

It is recommended to condition samples in lab air for one month at 20-23°C.

If you are testing concrete with a protective coating, you will need to sandblast the samples before applying the protector.

Allow them to cure for three days.

Bring the samples to the lab at least three months after casting them.

The ideal thickness is between 40-50mm for the test. This gives you enough material to gauge the results.

 

carbonation concrete

fig.1: Experimental set up for accelerated carbonation

 

How to Find the Right Testing Chamber

You will have to measure different variables for every type of concrete to be tested.

You will also have to apply different values to these variables based on where the concrete gets used.

For example, you will have to increase the amount of humidity to test concrete used in Florida vs. Kansas.

You will also need to factor in the year-long heat and extreme summer heat Florida has vs. the cold of Kansas winters.

You will need a testing chamber that allows making variations as the experiments demand them.

You will also need one that is durable.

Testing for accelerated carbonation is an ongoing process.

 

We Can Help You Find Your Ideal Chamber

We offer a wide range of testing chambers to meet any of your requirement.

You can choose between various sizes along with two different controllers, depending on if you are running stability or dynamic testing.

We will work with you to find the ideal chamber for your carbonation of concrete tests. 

 

Conditioning and procedures of Climatic Textiles Testing

Before proceeding with a climatic test, it is extremely important to understand the scope of the test to be performed and the kind of material to be tested. After making sure of that, there are some precautions to have in mind and the settings of the climate chamber to be set.

In this specific case, we will focus on a climatic textiles testing.

Given the type of material, you should take into account, before starting the climate test, that we cannot run it before making sure that we are matching with an official procedure.

The ISO 139 standard regulates weathering textiles testing and clothing material.

It specificates that samples should be put in a normal environment (Standard Atmosphere) for a fixed time, according to the type of textile to be tested.

Climatic textiles test conditions

Before proceeding with a climatic textiles test, there are some conditions that the ISO 139 reference standard establishes, in order to have reliable final test results.

The standard lays down climatic conditions and the limits under which the sample must be tested. Often, textile testing laboratories perform part of the test with unreliable equipment.

The FDM climatic chambers, are designed to perform these tests all in only one environment.

The textile material weathering testing is completed within the climatic chamber. So it is not necessary to move the sample several times, risking to lose the final report reliability.

Standard Atmosphere

The Standard Atmosphere means fixing starting climate conditions under which the textile sample is exposed before proceeding with the actual test.

The environmental temperature to be set on the climatic chamber must be 20° C, while the relative humidity must be 65%.

The period of sample exposition to the standard atmosphere, is determinate the weather resistance in according to material type and is defined by the reference standard

Variation limits

During the testing process, the environment where the samples will be tested must not deviate from the ISO 139:2005 limits.

In fact, the temperature can vary to a maximum of ± 2°C, while the relative humidity to a maximum of ± 4%.

These two limits can be directly set from the chamber’s controller, that constantly monitors the two parameters, also thanks to sensitive temperature and humidity probes.

Final result tolerances

Even in case the test procedure is followed step by step, there will always be external agents that will affect test results.

According to the BRITISH STANDARDS – specifically the BS4194: 1967 norm – a climate textiles test allows two types of tolerances:

Tolerance 1. Temperature ± 2 ° C, Relative humidity ± 5%

Tolerance 2. Temperature ± 1 ° C, Relative humidity ± 2%

It differs in type of test that will be performed.

Climatic Chamber Requirements

Now you can focus on the main component: the climatic test chamber. There are three main factors to keep in mind:

⦁ temperature variation rate

⦁ internal dimensions of the chamber

⦁ product to be tested

Temperature variation rate

The first thing to consider with any test chamber is the temperature, in particular the available temperature range and the temperature variation rate.

A standard chamber varies from -25 °C to +70 °C but the most performing ones can reach a wider temperature range.

The temperature variation rate is a fundamental parameter for a successful test. This value proves the performances and reliability of a climatic chamber and should not exceed ± 0.2/0.3 °C.

FDM test chambers are way more than performing, with an internal temperature variation of just ± 0.1 °C.

The internal dimensions of the chamber

You should also consider the internal dimensions of the chamber, which is among the most commonly overlooked factors.

In order to obtain accurate results, the chamber must have sufficient airflow in relation to the overall dimensions of the tested samples.

It is always a good idea to buy a slightly bigger test chamber than you think may be enough for your tests.

The product to be tested

Also the type of material to be tested will determine what kind of chamber to choose.

FDM guides customers in choosing the right climate chamber, according to the required test.

 

Please note that the chamber must be correctly calibrated in order to provide accurate results.

Climatic Textile Testing Procedure

First of all, check the ambient temperature where the climatic chamber is located, and check if the operating temperature match the data declared by the manufacturer.

Prepare and check the calibration of the temperature and humidity recording probes (usually it is performed at least once a year).

Place the samples so that the air has access to all surfaces. Distribute the textyle surfaces, only one layer per shelf.

Begin the preconditioning procedure (the Standard Atmosphere). Usually a sufficient time for preconditioning is reached after four hours at 20 °C and at 65% relative humidity.

Unless otherwise specified, yarns, threads and similar materials have to be displayed in skein form.

The tests will take up to eight hours for the animal or viscous fibers and only two hours for the fibers with a recovery of less than 5% with a humidity of 65%.

Heavy fibers take more time.

If a fabric contains more than one type of fiber, then you should take into account a longer conditioning time (find the component that takes longer to condition and run the test in that period).

Final test report

Last step is preparing your test report.

The test report includes all processes, materials and procedures of the tests. It shows the conditions from each phase, so that you can understand why a material reacted in a certain way and make your inferences.

In general, the report should include:

  1. subdivision of the tested material
  2. equipment used
  3. test conditions
  4. procedure
  5. results
  6. critical results
  7. final observations

The importance of calibrate a Climatic chamber

A change in temperature even by a degree can have a serious impact on industrial products, biological devices, automotive products, and electronics.

Temperature testing for certain products is vital particularly in the aviation industry. It is vital to calibrate a climatic chamber regularly.

This guideline will explore several advantages of calibration, we’re going to analyze:

  1. how the calibration should be done
  2. the frequency of the calibration
  3. factors to consider in choosing a calibration lab
  4. parameters to be considered in the calibration

What the Advantages of Calibrate a Environmental Chamber?

Overtime, the calibration of an environmental chamber will change, just like expected of every other measuring device. The only way to maintain its accuracy and enjoy the full benefit is by constant calibration. Some of the benefits of calibrate a climatic chamber:

 

  • Precision
    Frequent calibration helps to maintain the accuracy of environmental chambers. So can help to eliminate the risk and potential harm that may result from incorrect measurements.
  • Consistency
    If a test instrument isn’t right calibrated, it can display inconsistent readings on a device. This makes it difficult to arrive at a conclusion.
  • Reliability
    If the calibration of it is not reliable, the results obtained will also not be reliable.
  • Adherence
    Calibrated instrument ensures that an instrument is in compliance with industrials and government standards and can be safely used.
  • Traceability
    Each time an environmental chamber is calibrated, paper documents are left behind. This will help in tracking the drift of this instruments as well as help in creating a proper calibration interval.

 

The Frequency of calibrate a Climatic chamber

The main aim of calibrating is to ensure accuracy and reliability of your equipment. Constant use of measuring instruments exposes them to wear which affects their performance.

To maintain the overall efficiency of an environment chamber, calibration needs to be done as frequently as possible. The frequency of calibration of an environment chamber will depend on the following factors:

 

    • Manufacturer recommendation
      Manufacturers of environmental chambers usually provide information on when and how the instrument should be calibrated. This can provide the basis for calibration but other factors needs to be considered to develop the right frequency:

 

    • Before or After a Large Project
      It is vital to ensure that an environmental chamber is working optimally before starting a big project. Also, that has been used for major projects for an extensive period should be calibrated. This is because frequent heavy use can affect accuracy and performance.

 

    • Duration and Amount of Use
      Ideally, the duration and amount of usage should determine the recalibration of an environmental chamber. This means recalibration should be personalize and vary from equipment owner to another.

 

    • Equipment Trauma
      Equipment trauma is almost unavoidable and the most common with environmental chamber. It’s internal overload usually resulting from high volume of use. Once there is an overload, it is important to recalibrate it before further use.

All the aforementioned criteria should be put into consideration when developing the calibration schedule. It is vital to maintain the accuracy of test instruments because it can compromise safety of devices. In the long run, calibration failure is more costly compared to regular calibration.

 

Read also: What is an environmental chamber used for?

 

What should be included in calibration service

When looking for a calibration provider ensure they offer all-in-one service. For quality calibration, it is important to include the following items in calibration;

 

      • Accurate Measurement Testing
        The aim of calibrating is for guaranteed accuracy and reliable outcome. When choosing a provider for your calibration make sure they have accurate measurement testing.
      • Uncertainty Ratio Measurement
        Your selected provider should be able to evaluate the measurement uncertainty ratio of your environmental chamber. The knowledge of the uncertainty ration of your environmental chamber is important for calculating the accuracy of your measurements. You will also be able to determine change in performance of your environmental chamber.
      • Traceability Measurement and Calibration
        Traceability is key for reliable calibration but is mostly taken for granted. When calibrations and measurements are traceable, they can be traced back to national standards for highest quality.
      • Calibration Certificate
        A quality calibration service provider will give you a calibration certificate. This document has calibration information and serves as a proof that your equipment is properly calibrated.
      • Choosing a calibration lab
        Competence and compliance to highest standards should be your priority when looking for a lab for calibration of your environmental chamber. The following guidelines will help you in choosing a provider.

Accredited Calibrator VS Non-Accredited Calibrator

Both accredited and non-accredited labs can provide calibration services. However, it is important to understand what accreditation means. A respected calibration lab is accredited when it has passed the criteria, which include lab environment, personnel, and traceability. Choosing an accredited lab guarantees the correctness of the calibration service you receive.

Advantages of Choosing Accredited Lab

      • Confidence in calibration outcome
      • Technically competent staff
      • Equipment traceability
      • Supervised lab environment
      • Required measurement uncertainty.

Accredited calibration labs are required to meet highest industrial standard, ISO/IEC 17025

What Is A Growth Chamber And How Does it Assist Your Research?

Growth chamber assist you in the Research

When you think of great people throughout history, who comes to mind?

Most people would think of Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Charles Darwin, or Nelson Mandela. Those are great choices, but we’re going to pick one person that we believe beats them all. We pick Norman Borlaug.

You might not know who Norman Borlaug is, and that’s a shame. Mr. Borlaug, using agricultural research, saved a billion lives.

Dr. Borlaug produced a high-yield and disease-resistant strain of Mexican wheat that helped avert a global food crisis in the 1950s and ’60s. His example led to the development of new agricultural research tools, including the plant growth chamber.

What Is A Plant Growth Chamber?

Growth chambers allow researchers to control the environmental conditions when studying plants. Researchers, biologist, and other professionals can control humidity, temperature, light, and other factors.

Growing chambers help plant pathologists fight disease and geneticists develop sturdier food crops. They provide indispensable data for seed germination that the next Norman Borlaug will use to fight off the future food crises.

How do plant growth chambers achieve this? Let’s look at how they benefit agricultural research.

Reproducibility

Reproducibility is one of the fundamental elements of experimental science.

A study’s reproducibility is the ability for other researchers to duplicate experiments. This allows others to either confirm or falsify the original study.

Growth chambers do this by allowing researchers to set certain variables during their test. Another researcher can then match these variables to determine whether the same result occurs.

Without growth chambers, there could be variation in other factors that are outside of a team’s control. Small factors, such as an additional few moments of sunlight a day or air composition can cause dramatic variations in results.

Environmental growth chambers ensure equal factors during the verification process. Of course, this relies on the previous team’s record keeping. If there aren’t proper records, the second study will falsify the data and can then work on a solution.

Variability

Let’s say that the second study does falsify the original study. If they choose too, they can make adjustments to the factors presented in the first study to see if they can reach similar results. Other researchers can then attempt to reproduce these results and validate the new study.

Researchers can also improve the results from the first study due to the variability provided by plant growth chambers. If the first study shows a 3% improved yield, the second group might make an adjustment that improves yield by 5%.

This research could lead to other breakthroughs, improving access to food for people in non-ideal growing areas.

Testing For Less Than Ideal Growing Regions

One of the largest concerns for agricultural scientists is the lack of farmable land. Many countries across the world face shortages in farmland in the near future. This problem, along with a lack of skilled farm labor, climate change, and a booming worldwide population points to an impending food crisis.

In the UK, it’s expected that there will be a shortage of farms by 2030. In Africa and other parts of the world, the problem isn’t a lack of land, but a lack of arable land. Experts believe that the world’s population will grow to 11.2 billion people by the mid-2030s.

The population explosion will lead to a shortage of resources, in particular food. Earth is an isolated system, leaving us with two options:

  1. People could stop reproducing. This has yet to happen in humanity’s history, so it’s safe to assume that people aren’t going to stop having kids.
  2. We can make better use of the land we have.

Growing chambers allow researchers to develop high-grain products that use less land and produce more food. They also help to determine what regions of the world produce the best of a certain crop.

In the future, it’s almost guaranteed that food production will take a global approach to meet the needs of humanity. Certain nations will grow food for the sole purpose of exportation while importing others. We’ve seen the beginnings of this approach over the past 50 years, and that trend should continue.

Growth chambers allow researchers in the United States to test the viability of crops in Asia and Africa, and vice versa. This research is currently our best hope of staving off a food crisis that could lead to millions, if not billions, of people starving to death.

A Growth Chamber Helps You Make And Test Predictions

The hallmark of a good theory is the ability to make predictions about future events. In the case of agricultural science, this occurs by predicting such things as yield and survivability.

In the past, a scientist would develop a new type of grain that they believed could survive a shorter growing season. They would then have to test their crop in the real world. If their grain didn’t survive, it meant years of wasted work and hungry mouths to feed.

Now, scientists can make a prediction and use growth chambers to simulate a shorter growing season. If the prediction doesn’t hold true, they can begin working on a solution immediately.

This type of dynamic research leads to the creation of new crops. Researchers can adapt to changing climate patterns and other conditions. Water shortages could have devastated communities in the past. Now, we are able to plan ahead through the use of growing chambers and the variability they afford.

Let Us Help You Innovate The Way Food Grows

We offer a wide range of products that meet the needs of biologists and researchers around the world. We’ve designed our products to give you the adaptability and reproducibility you need to improve your research.

Whether you’re in an independent lab, corporate setting, or educational institution in need of a growth chamber, our products are perfect for you. We can produce ICH test chambers with any light source, providing you with further flexibility.

If you have any questions, contact us today and our team will reach out to you!

How does environmental chamber work?

Environmental chamber: how does it work?

An environmental chamber is an enclosed space in which various environmental conditions such as heat and humidity can be controlled. Some chambers even account for corrosion through the introduction of salt spray into the chamber.

 

The size of these chambers can vary widely depending on the product that needs to be tested. Sizes can vary from a cubic foot to up to 12,000 cubic feet, which is large enough to drive a truck into!

 

What is an environmental chamber used for? The main function of environmental test chamber is to see how products handle operating in various environments. For instance, a car that runs very well in dry climates may stop working in humid environments.

 

Environmental chambers allow product manufacturers to test their products under a wide range of controlled conditions without having to physically travel all over the world. Environmental chambers that have been properly calibrated can generate reliable results that reflect real-world product performance.

So how do environmental test chambers work?

The environmental chamber working principle is that all conditions can be controlled manually through a variety of mechanical processes. Temperature is controlled via electric resistor to either heat or refrigeration unit to cool the chamber.

 

To simulate the corrosive effect of living close to the sea, a salt solution is sprayed through a nozzle into the chamber, creating a fine mist that coats the entire product.

Humidity in the test chamber can be simulate by two different methods: evaporation of water with a heat source or with ultrasound technology.

 

Water vapor is usually introduced into a test chamber via a steam generator which heats the water and creates steam.

The steam rises to the top of the chamber, where it is cooled down again, raising the total humidity in the test chamber.

This method is useful because it can generate high humidity in large chambers very quickly. The drawbacks are that it’s a very energy intensive process that can also affect the temperature inside the test chamber.

 

 

Ultrasonic humidifiers don’t rely on heat to turn water into steam. Water vapor is created by running water on a diaphragm that vibrates at ultrasonic frequencies.

The droplets formed by this method are extremely thin and can evaporate rapidly in the air in the test chamber.

This humidified air is then transferred to the test chamber.

The system used in the FDM test chambers is more efficient than heating system.

 

The main advantages of ultrasound system are:

– Greater performance in humidity producing
– Increased energy efficiency
Silent system during operation
Cold operation, so it does not produce further heat
Immediate production of humidity

 

To ensure that the tests of products are accurate, manufacturers must know how to how to calibrate environmental chambers.

If you want to know how is important to calibrate it, check this article.

Proper calibration of test chambers is essential to reliable and consistent results. Various environmental chambers will have different calibration processes, depending on how the environmental chambers work and what industry the chamber is being used in, so it’s vital to contact the manufacturer of the chamber to find out what the correct procedure is before starting the calibration process.

How to grow Arabidopsis thaliana

how-growth-arabidopsis-thaliana

Growing Arabidopsis plant is highly influenced by climatic conditions but with some pro tips and the correct controlled conditions, you can get awesome results. Read on to find out the best method to grow Arabidopsis thaliana.

What is Arabidopsis thaliana plant?

Arabidopsis thaliana was the first plant to have the genome sequenced because it is a rare case of a small one of approximately Mbp (Megabase pairs). Other than that, Arabidopsis thaliana is a small plant with white flowers that is native to the Eurasia zone.

how-growth-arabidopsis-thaliana

Arabidopsis growth

The Arabidopsis can be grown in a wide variety of mediums like greenhouses, growth chambers and rooms, outdoors and in lighted shelves. If the growth method is properly applied and the maintenance plan is carefully followed, it enables the plant to produce seeds at a high rate. Also, it is considered a requisite for reproducible and accurate research.

Arabidopsis plant growth conditions

After three to five days of being planted, the seeds of most lines germinate. In a continuous lighting, water and nutrition and an approximate temperature level of 23°C, the first flowers can be expected within four to five weeks and seed harvesting in eight to ten weeks.

It is expected that environmental conditions in natural habitats create different phenotypes than in recreated ambient situations. It is important to bear this in mind when studying differences between them.

Specific light

There are various ways to assist the Arabidopsis in its growth from a photoperiod point of view.  The most recommended intensity is 120-150 µmol/m2sec. Although it can take more power, they might start to show purple leaves as a sign of too much light as one of the determining stress conditions that can lead to death.

Optimum temperature

The optimum temperature for the Arabidopsis to grow at its best is 22-23°C. It is not recommended to exceed the temperature range for Arabidopsis nor should temperatures dip below 16°C, especially in the early stages of growth. Older plants, which have passed the Rosette stage are able to withstand heat better than younger plants. At lower temperatures the plants are known to enter a vegetative state which delays flowering. Certain winter-annual variations of the plant, however, do require a period of cold in order to initiate the flowering process. Many of the young rosettes usually aged between 2 and 4 weeks, of the winter variations of the plant require being placed at 4°C for one to two months to accelerate the flowering process.

Water

Keeping humidity uniform at around 50-60% is optimum for healthy plant growth. The relative humidity is a crucial influencer for the plant´s water needs. If the relative humidity is too high, above 90%, the most likely result is plant sterility. Some growers utilize low relative humidity, below 50% to achieve silique maturation.

Custom plant growth rooms

In most commercial growth facilities, it is easy to precisely control photoperiod, temperature, light intensity and often humidity too. Standard rooms can be equipped with additional temperature, ventilation, air conditioning, and lightning supplement growing conditions but are not as accurate as custom rooms. Greenhouses, on the other hand, can offer such services but are exposed to higher temperature deviations because of sunlight exposure. If the facility that is to be used for the growth of Arabidopsis was used with another species before, it would have to be cleaned to zero to avoid the use of pesticides or the loss of healthy plants because of infestation or pest.

Preservation of Arabidopsis seeds

The Arabidopsis small seeds rehydrate in a very rapid manner when they are exposed to any source of high humidity. If they happen to deteriorate, they lose vigor and if the process is not stopped, they lose the ability to germinate at all. The correlation between moisture, temperature and other unknown factors of cellular order determine the ´aging´ of the seeds. Seeds from Arabidopsis lines historically showed strength and viability for long periods of storage if the conditions are properly maintained.

When the seeds are exposed at the ambient relative humidity and at room temperature, they lose viability in approximately a span of two years. However, if the temperature is of 4°C to -20°C, the dried seeds can be stored for decades and remain as vigorous as the first day. The humidity of the 4°C controlled-room for storage should be somewhere between 20-30% to ensure seeds are not rehydrated. If the goal is to store the seeds for longer periods of time (more than five years), sub-zero temperature and a maximum of 20% relative humidity.

This is the latest and portable environmental chamber that FDM realized for specific customer needs. It’s a next generation device configured with multiple advanced features realized for testing the samples with varying weathering conditions. This small environmental chamber version (40C180V25) is a ‘PID (Proportional Integral Derivative)’ regulation device that can be used for ‘stability’ testing conditions. Alternatively, it can be equipped with programmable controller for cycling test; in this case we can manipulate the temperature and humidity making the testing much more dynamic. The specimen can be easily subjected to multiple environmental parameters with its advanced attributes.

portable-environmental-chamber-test

We realized this machine according to the specifications provided by the customer. Also, they required us to realize the machine with smallest possible size, easy to transport to operate in multiple laboratories. This portable environmental chamber is configured for a specific customer who requested us to resolve a particular test condition and transportability. This environmental chamber consists of numerous benefits, which makes it a ‘stand out’ with respect to its ‘attributes’. We have the required skills to help them, and we did it!

This Environmental Chamber Consists of The Following Attributes:

  • Vast weathering range, with temperature ranging from -40°C to +180°C and humidity varying from 30% to 98% rh with a fluctuation range of less than 3.
  • Material used to manufacture this device is of very high quality. The exterior portion is made of ‘white coated galvanized steel’ and the interior is made of ‘AISI 304 stainless steel’.
  • Device is free insulated from CFC and HCFC.
  • Its interior consists of steel grid which are removable and height-adjustable as required.

It is basically a single-shelve environmental chamber, with its interior and exterior dimensions suitable to categorize it as ‘Portable’ as it weighs only 80kgs.

Exterior Dimensions Are [mm]:

  • Width – 444
  • Depth – 695
  • Height – 690

Interior Dimensions Are [mm]:

  • Width – 300
  • Depth – 235
  • Height – 295

portable-and-performant-environmental-chamber

check here the full technical sheet

With this portable environmental chamber you have much interior space available, it can be subjected to any specimen of volume up to 25 liters, which is quite impressive with respect to its attributes.

Electrical Parameters Configured in Portable environmental chamber:

  • Energy consumption at 37°C is 0.5[kWh/h]
  • Voltage capacity is 220/240V
  • Power Frequency of 50 Hz
  • Nominal Power of 1 kW and Nominal Voltage (Phase) of ‘1-‘
  • Unit Fuse of 16 A

Feature that makes this one of its kind are the safety measure taken into account to meet our customers request, it is immune to every unwanted mishaps that may occur during testing period. Those safety measures consist of:

  • Constant Monitoring Controller: This reduces the chance of any unfortunate events to minimal.
  • High Alarm & Security Feature: In this feature, the audio-visual alarm sets off whenever the temperature becomes too ‘HOT’ for the testing specimen.
  • Security Device with manual reset Class 1(DIN 12880).

To summarize: it is small and portable, can be operated in any given conditions because of its ‘dynamic’ features. In others words, a smart environmental chamber.

What-is-HAST-test

As demand for electronic components, especially semiconductors, continues to grow rapidly, one of the challenges the industry faces, is the time taken to test those components. Traditionally, Temperature Humidity Bias testing, THB for short, has been the solution, but with that taking 1000 hours to complete it represented a significant delay, and this is where HAST testing, Highly Accelerated Temperature and Humidity Stress Test, offers significant advantages.

Taking between 96 and 100 hours per test, and often even less, the HAST test provides significant time savings that can have significant impact on business, and so has quickly become the most dominant of the endurance test methods for semiconductor devices. While primarily connected with semiconductor testing, HAST testing is used on a variety of both hermetically sealed and unsealed compact electronic components to provide fast testing results for a variety of situations and needs.

HAST testing standards

Time Is not the only difference, THB testing holds 85°C/85% R.h. condition as the samples are subjected to bias loads, however this has become less relevant today due to advances in the materials used in packaging and passivation.

By contrast, HAST test conditions use a high temperature of at least 100°C and usually around 105°C along with high relative humidity of around 85% in combination with high atmospheric pressure of up to 4 atmospheres. There is also a saturated version of the HAST test that uses 121°C temperature and relative humidity of 100%. If components are tested with power on, it is usually the unsaturated version with 85%RH. These environmental parameters provide an accelerated method of component reliability testing that quickly finds concealed defects that could result in failure during long-term use.

There are several standards for HAST tests from the IEC, JESD, JIS and JEITA, all indicate different combinations of temperature and RH, and are used for different situations. The most common are:

 

  • IEC 60068-2-66 – used in non-hermetically sealed, compact electronic components
  • IEC 60749-4 – Mainly used for semiconductors
  • JESD020C – Reflow soldering
  • JESD22-A104DTemperature Cycling testing to cover component and solder interconnection testing
  • JESD22-B102E – Tests for accelerated moisture resistance, unbiased autoclave
  • JESD22-A108BHigh Temperature Operating Life (HTOL) test
  • JESD22-A102C – Used for accelerated humidity resistance testing of non-hermetically sealed semiconductor-based devices
  • JESD22-A110C – Used for non-hermetically sealed semiconductor-based devices while powered to evaluate reliability
  • JESD22-A118 – Evaluates the reliability of unpowered non-hermetically sealed semiconductor-based devices
  • JIS C60068-2-66 – For testing compact electronic components
  • JEITA ED-4701/100 Method 103Tests the durability of semiconductors that are stored or used within high temperature and humidity-based atmospheres

 

Hast testing in practice

The Hast highly accelerated stress test uses dedicated design test chambers that are rapidly being deployed to replace existing THB testing chambers that use wet bulb/dry bulb mechanisms to control humidity accurately and consistently. That constant temperature/humidity chamber under high pressure is key to delivering faster results in all conditions.

HAST testing is particularly useful during product changes where adjustments could potentially accelerate metal corrosion, with results being obtainable so much faster than alternatives and as a result having a significant impact on development times. HAST testing is the best option for testing for any kind of moisture driven corrosion, with its testing capabilities providing shock accelerated conditions that provide a true test of components.

The ability to provide full tests of all components, evaluating insulation deterioration, overall performance including the performance of plastic sealed components in a variety of conditions, including through a vibration test, the HAST approach delivers the true shock test that gives a real insight into overall performance of the product.

 

Conclusion

With its flexibility and intensity providing a variety of test results in a short space of time, HAST testing is well positioned for the modern production cycle. Crucially, the HAST testing process allows both saturated and unsaturated testing of components within the test cycle, and for plastic sealed components or others designed to be environmentally sealed, it provides a more streamlined, more effective outcome that enhances product development processes considerably.

Whatever testing standards are used, the ability to have tests completed in days, rather than months creates new opportunities for product development. By powering the agile testing process organizations are able to deliver faster responses to changing production needs, improving performance and delivering increased user satisfaction.