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IEC 60255-21-2 Vibration, Shock, and Seismic Testing Lab

IEC 60255-21-2 Vibration, Shock, and Seismic Testing

The IEC 60255 test ensures products meet certain criteria for reliability and functionality in their roles within electrical systems. More specifically, IEC 60255-21-2 is part of a series of international standards that evaluate the testing of electrical relays to vibrations, bumps, and seismic shock.

Keystone Compliance provides the professional regulatory compliance testing assistance all laboratories need to get their products to market. Engineers provide constant communication. Additionally, reports are globally recognized and turnaround time is short.

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Summary of IEC 60255-21-2 Shock, Bump, and Vibration Testing

IEC 60255-21-2 aims to establish a uniform methodology for testing the resilience of electrical relays to vibrations. This is particularly important because relays are mechanical devices and vibrations could potentially alter their physical state, contacts, and electronic components, leading to malfunction or failure.

The standard ensures that relays can withstand the vibrational forces they might encounter in their operational environment. This includes industrial settings, transportation systems, or power generation and distribution networks.

IEC 60255-21-2 is crucial because electrical relays can be subject to a wide range of operating environments. Some of these include significant vibrations and shocks that could potentially affect their operation or longevity.

Importance of Conducting IEC 60255-21-2 Testing

Reliability Assurance: IEC 60255-21-2 ensures that relays, critical for the protection of electrical systems, can withstand extreme conditions without failure.

Compliance and Certification: Demonstrates that the product meets international standards, aiding in global market access.

Safety and Stability: Enhances the safety and stability of electrical systems, especially in areas prone to earthquakes or where mechanical shocks are a concern.

Difference Between IEC 60255-21-2 and IEC 60255-21-3

Test Focus: IEC 60255-21-2 is all about vibration testing, ensuring relays can handle continuous vibrational forces. IEC 60255-21-3 expands into seismic and shock testing, focusing on the relay’s resilience to sudden and extreme mechanical stresses.

Application Context: The tests in IEC 60255-21-2 are generally for environments where relays are exposed to regular vibrations, such as in industrial machinery or vehicles. 60255-21-3’s tests are more about ensuring reliability and performance in the face of catastrophic events (seismic) or sudden shocks that might occur less frequently but have a high impact.

Purpose: Both parts aim to ensure the mechanical robustness and operational reliability of relays under different conditions. 60255-21-2 ensures relays can endure the sort of continuous, varying vibrations found in many operational environments. IEC 60255-21-3 ensures they can also withstand the rare but potentially very damaging effects of seismic activities and mechanical shocks.

IEC 60255-21-2 Shock and Bump Laboratory Testing Procedures


Initial Inspection and Documentation: Before testing, the EUT (Equipment Under Testing) is inspected for any pre-existing conditions that could affect the outcome of the test. Next, the physical and operational state to compare against post-test conditions is documented.

Configuration: The unit is configured as it would be in its operational state. This includes connecting the EUT to its normal power supply and any external devices it interacts with during normal operation.

Mounting: The EUT is mounted on the test machine using the appropriate fixtures. The orientation and mounting method should reflect the standard’s requirements and how the equipment will likely be installed in real-world scenarios.

Testing Protocol

Shock Testing: Shock tests simulate the sudden impacts or forces that equipment might experience. The standard details how to apply shocks (e.g., the direction, intensity, and duration).

IEC 60255 also specifies the number of shocks and the energy levels. These tests help identify any mechanical weaknesses or failures in the equipment’s structure or mounting arrangements.

Bump Testing: Bump tests are repeated impacts less severe than shocks but can still reveal mechanical strength and durability vulnerabilities over time.

Additionally, the IEC 60255 shock testing standard defines how these impacts are applied. Impacts include frequency, acceleration, and the total number of bumps.

Severity Levels

IEC 60255 categorizes tests into different severity levels. This reflects various conditions equipment might face. For each severity level, the standard will specify parameters such as:

  • Acceleration: Peak acceleration (g’s) that the equipment should withstand.
  • Duration: Length of the shock or bump should last.
  • Number of Shocks/Bumps: Test repetition to simulate repeated mechanical stresses.
  • Direction and Orientation: The direction(s) in which the shocks or bumps are applied. This includes multi-axial testing to simulate real-world stresses from all directions.

Acceptance Criteria

The acceptance criteria outlines how to evaluate the equipment after testing. This includes visual inspections and functional tests.

The criteria helps assess whether the equipment has sustained damage or performance degradation that would render it unfit for its intended use.

Post-Test Evaluation

Inspection and Testing: After the mechanical tests, EUT is inspected for any physical damage. Functional tests are conducted. These assess if the EUT still operates according to its specifications.

Data Analysis: The data is collected and analyzed during the test to determine if the EUT met the standard’s requirements.

Reporting: Lastly, the results are documented. This includes the test procedures, conditions, configuration, and mounting. This report should include detailed information about the test setup, the EUT’s performance, and whether it passes or fails the test criteria.

Expert IEC 60255-21-2 Shock, Vibration, and Bump Testing Laboratory

In addition to vibration and shock testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including freeze-thaw, immersion, and humidity testing. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. Keystone’s engineers take a consultative approach throughout the entire test program.

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Compliance to meet their vibration and shock testing needs.