The Comprehensive Environmental Test Chamber is going to be CIMR's newest piece of equipment. It will add to a long list of award worthy testing abilities. The 3600 cubic foot chamber common will have interior dimensions of 11' 11" wide x 21' 6" deep x 14' high, clear usable work space. The floor is being specifically designed to withstand 150 psi in a cyclic load condition while undergoing temperature transitions from -90o F to 185o F, humidity, rain, and solar through several cycles a day.
The cyclic load will be provided by an MTS actuator that will connect to a device which can penetrate the roof section in any one of 8 separate or multiple locations.The actuator will be attached to a structural test frame that is connected to a deep foundation capable of providing undisturbed loading or impact cycles to a specimen inside the chamber. This frame is ultimately capable of withstanding an actuator that generates 150 kip of force. This load can then be applied to a specimen that will undergo some variations of environmental tests prescribed by MIL 810 F and or ASTM C666 -05a.
The Inside chamber will house testing capabilities in addition to the MTS actuator; rain, blowing rain, freezing rain, high temperatures, low temperatures, humidity, and specimen emersion. The rain system will be a complement of 10 possible manifolds each with 5 nozzles. All manifolds are individually height adjustable and have shut-off valves for each nozzle. The blowing rain will be accomplished with a VFD fan motor distributing air across a 4' x 4' section with a rain manifold made specifically for this unit. The rain and submersion system will be conditioned with 12 hp refrigeration compressor to cool the water and a 48 KW resistance heater to heat the water. The high temperature and low temperature will be accomplished using 60 KW electric resistance heaters and six cascaded 30 hp refrigeration compressors respectively. Lastly, the humidity will be generated using a 48 KW multi-stage atmospheric vapor generator and the capability to humidify with positive accurate control from 20% to 95% RH, limited by 4o C minimum dew point and a 60o C maximum dry bulb temperature. Higher and lower humidity levels are possible, but the controlled stability will be critically affected by minor changes in environment.
The full range of controls for this chamber will be handled by a product developed by Russells Technical Products known as VS-1. This software will handle the trending of the environment and collect data 24 hours a day. This data is easily exportable to Excel. The software has product safeguards so as not to effect the item being tested by a more volatile environment than was prescribed in the test plan.
The chamber is also being designed with some future expansion in mind. The controls and electrical are being drafted simular to an advanced solar simulation system, capable of the full spectrum of light, which can be generated for both UV and heat load testing. A liquid nitrogen boost is being built into the system for future advanced rapid freezing techniques. Additionally, there are provisions for salt fog testing in a capsule inside this chamber, and the controls will adapt to this as well. Both the Solar system and the Salt Fog tests were developed and will be capable of testing items as large as full tactical HumVee's. Also, there will be room remaining in the control cabinet to house the necessary equipment to signal these items and provide for space necessary to upgrade data collection methods.