© Lukas Zwiessele | ebm-papst

Insights into our testing centerFrom the tropics to the Arctic and back: Climate test bay

Rapid and signif­i­cant temper­a­ture changes can affect the service life of metal and plastic connec­tions in the fan. That’s why ebm-papst puts its prod­ucts through a climate roller­coaster in the climate test bay.

In the testing center in Hollen­bach, fans are pushed to their limits and beyond with real-life envi­ron­mental influ­ences. New prod­ucts, sizes or compo­nents pass through the test stations in a total of six test fields over an area of approx­i­mately 2,500 square meters. In this series, we take a closer look at each of these test bays. The second focuses on climatic condi­tions.

Climatic condi­tions

Eugen Schneider checks fans and venti­la­tors in the two climatic cham­bers in the testing center.

Sudden and rapid temper­a­ture changes can affect the service life of the fan, even before it is used at the customer’s premises. This can happen, for example, when trans­porting it by ship or truck. In a container, for example, sunlight quickly causes the temper­a­ture to rise, the package heats up and the temper­a­ture drops overnight. In addi­tion, there may be high humidity in the air.

Such temper­a­ture loads primarily affect the fan’s mate­rial combi­na­tions made of metal and plastic. Because they expand differ­ently in heat or pull together in cold condi­tions, the connec­tions can develop weak points or even come loose. This is why the entire fan is tested in climatic cham­bers in the climate test bay.

Mr Kemmer, what is the task of the climatic cham­bers?

There are two different climatic cham­bers in the climate test bay. In the first climatic chamber, employees can vary the temper­a­ture between -70 and +180 degrees Celsius and, if neces­sary, also change the humidity of the air to between 10 and 98 percent. The rapid change in temper­a­ture is simu­lated on the test spec­imen in the climatic shock cabinet.

A fan in the climatic chamber. After a spec­i­fied test proce­dure, it then passes through different temper­a­tures from freezing to extremely hot. (Photo | Lukas Zwies­sele | ebm-papst)

The cabinet consists of two cham­bers, which are coupled by an elevator system. In the upper chamber, the test spec­imen is exposed to a high temper­a­ture; in the lower chamber, it is exposed to the cold. The test mate­rial – which is what employees in the testing center call the fan – moves from the top to the lower chamber, which involves a temper­a­ture increase of up to a hundred degrees Celsius within a few seconds.

In reality, of course, a fan rarely expe­ri­ences such signif­i­cant fluc­tu­a­tions. The climatic cham­bers operate at such high expo­sures to quickly reveal crit­ical points on the mate­rials. This enables them to be corrected with pinpoint accu­racy where required.

Exclu­sive insights into all test fields

Learn more about how ebm-papst puts fans to the test in the indi­vidual test fields. Each article with exciting insights, videos and pictures!

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