Shock and Vibration Testing

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Shock and vibration testing, also known as dynamics testing, is a sub-category of product and component testing, a larger category that includes electrical (EMC), life, environmental, exposure, dynamic, ergonomic and other specialized tests.

Shock and vibration-testing services typically are capable of offering:

  • testing and simulation
  • component and product comparison
  • certification and qualification
  • data acquisition and instrumentation
  • design verification testing (DVT)
  • failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA)
  • sample preparation
  • research and development

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These same service may also provide:

  • safety testing liability testing
  • performance tests
  • in-line or in-process testing

Shock and vibration testing often involves using dedicated shock, sine and random-vibration or other dynamic test conditions, to evaluate a "finished" product or component.

Types of shock and vibration testing may include:

The tests above may be used to determine the effects of:

  • aging
  • bounce
  • creep
  • decompression
  • fatigue
  • fire
  • humidity
  • pyrotechnic shock
  • radiation
  • sterilization
  • stress
  • thermal cycling
  • ultraviolet (UV) light
  • weathering

If you're contracting out vibration tests, it's important that the testing laboratory be a complete engineering and manufacturing facility, specializing in the latest electromechanical equipment for vibration testing systems, sophisticated dynamic mechanical design and analysis tools, and related programs.

If your company or organization is conducting its own ("in-house") vibration tests, you'll need some tools-of-the-trade. They include:

Shock and Vibration Testing -- a general list of tool and product categories:

Shock and vibration testing services test many types of parts, products, systems and facilities:

  • aerospace and avionics equipment
  • automotive parts
  • building products
  • coatings and paints
  • consumer appliances
  • electronics and microelectronics
  • electrical distribution devices
  • combustion and hazardous location equipment
  • industrial equipment and machinery
  • instrument sensors

Shock and vibration testing services may also test:

  • valves and pumps
  • plumbing and lighting
  • pneumatic and hydraulic systems
  • health care and medical devices
  • battery and energy products
  • laboratory equipment

Some specialized testing companies may test:

  • semiconductors
  • integrated circuits (ICs)
  • radio frequency (RF)
  • wireless devices
  • misc. information technology (IT) and telecommunication systems

Others specialized testing companies test:

  • marine equipment
  • motors and motor controllers
  • packaging products
  • product samples

There are several national and international certifications and approvals available for shock and vibration testing services, including:

  • CE Mark (Europe)
  • S Mark (Europe)
  • AMSE (US)
  • ASTM (US) FCC (US)
  • FDA (US)
  • NRC (US)
  • CCC (China)
  • VCCI (Japan)
  • GS Mark (Germany)
  • C-TICK (Australia)
  • NOM (Mexico)
  • CSA Mark (Canada)

International organizations that provide certifications and approvals include:

  • Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
  • Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
  • International State Transit Association (ISTA)

Some shock and vibration-testing services also provide testing for products that must meet U.S. government military-grade specifications (MIL-SPEC).

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Updated: Sunday, 2016-06-12 22:46 PST