Northern Illinois University

Baxter Reliability Laboratory

Thermal Shock Testing

This test exposes the product to severe temperature extremes in rapid succession. For example, the product is transferred from an extreme hot environment to an extremely cold environment. This process is repeated several times.  It is similar to temperature cycling, but more severe and may involve different failure mechanisms.  Baxter Reliability uses an air-to-air system for product testing.  Air-to-air thermal shock testing employs a high rate of temperature change, typically 30C per minute or higher.  Baxter Reliability can do this with a single chamber using liquid nitrogen (LN2) or a two chamber approach where one chamber is hot and the other is cold.  The variables for shock test include hot & cold temperatures, dwell times at each temperature, maximum time required to move the product from one chamber to another, and the number of cycles (1 cycle = one hot and cold dwell)

Result: a cost-effective way to screen defects at the component level; particularly in integrated circuits which require a high degree of stress to experience the rates required to force latent defects into failure.