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Military Standards Testing

MIL-STD-810A Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests

MIL-STD-810A is a military test standard for environmental testing. The standard was adopted on June 23, 1964. This version superseded MIL-STD-810, which was enacted on June 14, 1962. The title of the standard is Military Standard Environmental Test Methods for Aerospace and Ground Equipment.

What was the purpose of MIL STD 810A?

MIL-STD 810-A established the uniform methods for environmental tests for determining the resistance of aerospace and ground equipment. This resistance was to the deleterious effects of natural and induced environments peculiar to military operations.

The test methods contained in this US Air Force standard were intended to specify suitable conditions obtainable in the laboratory which gave test results similar to actual conditions. The goal was to obtain reproducibility of the results of tests and to serve as a guide. The guide was for those engaged in preparing for environmental test portions of individual equipment specifications.

This military testing compliance test standard was intended to be applied to new engineering only. It was not to be applied in retrospect to existing government contracts or to future contracts intended for re-procuring inventory items which were already qualified under a separate specification.

How is the MIL-STD-810A test standard organized?

The standard contains 18 test methods. These test methods apply broadly to all items of aerospace and ground equipment. The exceptions are air frames and primary power plants. The test methods generally represent the extreme conditions which usually constitute the minimum acceptable conditions.

The environmental testing standard does state that when it is known that the equipment will encounter conditions more severe or less severe than the environmental levels stated, the testing may be modified by the individual equipment specifications.

What are the inspection and failure criteria of MIL-810-A?

The standard requires the test item to be visually inspected. A record should be made for any damage resulting from the test. Normally, the test item should be removed from the test facility prior to inspection. This is stated in a number of the test methods.

Other criteria can be used for inspections if required. Examples include when the installation of the test item in or on the test facility is complex, costly or time consuming. In these cases, the performance of the inspection may be accomplished with the test item inside or on the test facility.

MIL-STD-810A states that if a test chamber is used for the test and the inspection is completed in the test chamber, the room should be returned to ambient. These ambient conditions should include temperature, atmospheric pressure and relative humidity. All of this should occur prior to the start of the inspection.

Several conditions, if present, may determine the product has failed. These conditions include deterioration, corrosion or changes in tolerance limits of any internal or external components which could prevent the test item from meeting operational requirements.

What are the test conditions of military standard 810A testing?

Unless otherwise required, all testing should be conducted at room ambient conditions. These conditions include temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure. The target conditions spelled out in the MIL-810A test procedure are as follows. The temperature should be 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The relative humidity of 50 percent. The atmospheric pressure of 30 inches of mercury.

Variations off of these stated values are permitted as long as they remain in acceptable tolerances. The actual ambient conditions should always be recorded periodically throughout the 810A test program.

Are there tolerances of test conditions?

MIL-STD-810 A permits the following tolerances of test conditions. These tolerances are exclusive of the accuracy of instruments. Temperatures can be plus or minus two degrees Celsius or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Relative humidity can be plus 5 percent relative humidity and minus zero percent. Atmospheric pressure can be plus or minus 5 percent or 0.06 inches of mercury, whichever provides the greatest accuracy. If measured by devices such as ion gauges the tolerance is plus or minus 10 percent.

Vibration amplitude has acceptable tolerances as well. For sinusoidal vibration, the tolerance is plus or minus 10 percent. For random vibration, the tolerance is plus or minus 30 percent. In acceleration testing, the acceptable tolerance is plus or minus 10 percent.

Keystone Compliance is a leader in the testing of military and aerospace products. Our scope of accreditation includes all versions of MIL-STD-810. This document covers MIL-STD-810A. For more information about the other versions of this military standard, please click on one of the links below:

As an ISO-17025-accredited test lab, Keystone Compliance is accredited to complete a full MIL-STD-810A test program. Our test facility includes nearly 10 EMC test chambers, several shakers, dozens of climatics chambers and other necessary equipment.

In addition to environmental testing, we also have a full scope of EMC/EMI testing. Our capabilities include shielding effectiveness, ESD, lightning, HEMP and many other types of EMC testing. Our lab features seven EMC test chambers. We also have a reverberation chamber. We also provide expert EMC site surveys.

Lastly, we are also an ISTA-accredited package testing lab. We offer full package testing capabilities through our Keystone Package Testing subsidiary. In addition to ISTA and ASTM, we also are one of the few labs approved to complete Amazon package testing.

We take a consultative approach and assist our customers throughout the entire test program. If failures arise, we assist in isolating them and finding potential solutions. Contact us to see why so many manufacturers partner with Keystone Compliance.

The MIL-STD-810A test specification includes the following test methods and sections. For more information on each type of testing, please click on the associated links.