MIL Standards: MIL-STD-810: Test Method Standard for Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests

MIL-STD 810G was developed for Department of Defense (DoD) applications and is often used for commercial products. The standard describes environmental management and engineering processes that can be of enormous value to generate confidence in the environmental worthiness and overall durability of a system design. The current version of the standard is MIL-STD 810G which incorporates the previous version (F) with corrections, changes and additions.

The purpose of this standard is to tailor a product’s “environmental design and test limits to the conditions that it will experience throughout its service life, and establishing laboratory test methods that replicate the effects of environments on material, rather than trying to reproduce the environments themselves.”
 
The MIL-STD 810G encompasses a series of tests approved by the department and agencies of the DoD. These tests address a range of environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, vibration and acoustic noise. Advanced Test Equipment Rentals has equipment for testing almost every test method found in MIL-STD 810G.
 

Table of Contents

MIL-STD-810G, Method 501.5 - High Temperature
MIL-STD-810G, Method 502.5 - Low Temperature  
MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5 - Temperature Shock
MIL-STD-810G, Method 507.5 - Humidity
MIL-STD-810G, Method 520.3 - Temperature, Humidity, Vibration & Altitude


 

MIL-STD-810G, Method 501.5 - High Temperature 

  • Purpose
    • Use high temperature tests to obtain data to help evaluate effects of high temperature conditions on materiel safety, integrity, and performance.
  • Application
    • Use this method to evaluate materiel likely to be deployed in areas where temperatures (ambient or induced) are higher than standard ambient.
  • Limitations
    • Limit use of this method to evaluating the effects of relatively short-term (months, as opposed to years), even distributions of heat throughout the test item. This method is not generally practical for:
      • a. Evaluating time-dependent performance degradation (aging) effects that occur during constant long-term exposure to high temperatures (under storage or operational modes) where synergetic effects may be involved. For such high temperature aging effects, test in the natural environment.
      • b. Evaluating materiel in a high temperature environment where solar radiation produces significant thermal gradients in the materiel. For simulating direct solar impingement, use Method 505.5, Procedure I.
      • c. Evaluating actinic (photochemical) effects (use Method 505.5, Procedure II).
      • d. Evaluating the effects of aerodynamic heating.
      • e. Although high temperature testing may be considered for assessment of munitions, accomplish safety or hazard testing in accordance with MIL-STD-2105C (paragraph 6.1, reference 6.1d).
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MIL-STD-810G, Method 502.5 - Low Temperature

  • Purpose
    • Use low temperature tests to obtain data to help evaluate effects of low temperature conditions on materiel safety, integrity, and performance during storage, operation, and manipulation.
  • Application
    • Use this method to evaluate materiel likely to be deployed in a low temperature environment during its life cycle and the effects of low temperature have not been assessed during other tests (e.g., a temperature-altitude test).
  • Limitations
    • a. This method is not intended for testing materiel to be installed in and operated in unpressurized aircraft, since such materiel would usually be tested according to Method 520.3.
    • b. Although low temperature testing may be considered for safety or hazard assessment of munitions, accomplish such testing in accordance with MIL-STD-2105C (reference 6.1d).
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MIL-STD-810G, Method 503.5 - Temperature Shock

  • Purpose
    • Use the temperature shock test to determine if materiel can withstand sudden changes in the temperature of the surrounding atmosphere without experiencing physical damage or deterioration in performance. For the purpose of this document, "sudden changes" is defined as "an air temperature change greater than 10°C (18°F) within one minute."
  • Application
    • Normal environment - Use this method when the requirements documents specify the materiel is likely to be deployed where it may experience sudden changes of air temperature. This method is intended to evaluate the effects of sudden temperature changes of the outer surfaces of materiel, items mounted on the outer surfaces, or internal items situated near the external surfaces. This method is, essentially, surface-level tests. Typically, this addresses:
      • a. The transfer of materiel between climate-controlled environment areas and extreme external ambient conditions or vice versa, e.g., between an air conditioned enclosure and desert high temperatures, or from a heated enclosure in the cold regions to outside cold temperatures.
      • b. Ascent from a high temperature ground environment to high altitude via a high performance vehicle (hot to cold only).
      • c. Air delivery/air drop at high altitude/low temperature from aircraft enclosures when only the external material (packaging or materiel surface) is to be tested.
  • Limitations
    • This method does not specifically address the following, but it may, in some cases, be applied through tailoring:
      • a. Materiel that will not experience sudden extreme temperature changes to internal components because of its mass, configuration, packaging, installed location, etc.
      • b. Replacement of the assessment of performance characteristics after lengthy exposure to extreme temperatures, such as with Methods 501.5 and 502.5.
      • c. Temperature shock experienced by materiel transferred between air and liquid or two liquids, the thermal shock caused by rapid transient warmup by engine compressor bleed air, or aerodynamic loading.
      • d. This method is inappropriate if the actual transfer time in a service environment will not produce a significant thermal shock.
      • e. Materiel that has been exposed to heat from a fire and subsequently cooled with water.
      • f. Thermal shock testing that may be considered for safety or hazard assessment of munitions, but that should be accomplished in accordance with MIL-STD-2105C (reference 6.1c).
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MIL-STD-810G, Method 507.5 - Humidity

  • Purpose
    • The purpose of this method is to determine the resistance of materiel to the effects of a warm, humid atmosphere.
  • Application
    • This method applies to materiel that is likely to be stored or deployed in a warm, humid environment, an environment in which high levels of humidity occur, or to provide an indication of potential problems associated with humidity. Although it is preferable to test materiel at appropriate natural environment sites, it is not always practical because of logistical, cost, or schedule considerations. Warm, humid conditions can occur year-round in tropical areas, seasonally in mid-latitude areas, and in materiel subjected to combinations of changes in pressure, temperature, and relative humidity. Often materiel enclosed in non-operating vehicles in warm, humid areas can experience high internal temperature and humidity conditions. Other high levels of humidity can exist worldwide. Further information on high temperatures and humidity is provided in AR 70-38 (paragraph 6.1, reference a), MILHDBK-310 (paragraph 6.1, reference b), or NATO STANAG 4370, AECTP 200, Category 230, Section 2311 (paragraph 6.1, reference c). See also Part Three of this document.
  • Limitations
    • This method may not reproduce all of the humidity effects associated with the natural environment such as longterm effects, nor with low humidity situations. This method does not attempt to duplicate the complex temperature/humidity environment but, rather, it provides a generally stressful situation that is intended to reveal potential problem areas in materiel. This method includes natural and induced temperature/humidity cycles (for guidance purposes) for identified climatic categories, but these cycles cannot replicate naturally-occurring environments. Testing in the natural environment, whenever practical, may provide more valuable results. Specifically, this method does not address:
      • a. Condensation resulting from changes of pressure and temperature for airborne or ground materiel.
      • b. Condensation resulting from black-body radiation (e.g., night sky effects).
      • c. Synergistic effects of solar radiation, humidity, or condensation combined with biological and chemical contaminants.
      • d. Liquid water trapped within materiel or packages and retained for significant periods.
      • e. This method is not intended for evaluating the internal elements of a hermetically sealed assembly since such materiel is air-tight.
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MIL-STD-810G, Method 520.3 - Temperature, Humidity, Vibration & Altitude

  • Purpose
    • The purpose of this test is to help determine the combined effects of temperature, humidity, vibration, and altitude on airborne electronic and electro-mechanical materiel with regard to safety, integrity, and performance during ground and flight operations. Some portions of this test may apply to ground vehicles, as well. In such cases, references to altitude considerations do not apply.
  • Application
    • Use this method to evaluate materiel likely to be deployed in altitude areas (above ground level) where temperature, humidity, and vibration may combine to induce failures.
    • Use this method for engineering development, for support of operational testing, for qualification, and for other similar purposes. This method is primarily intended for actively powered materiel operated at altitude, i.e., aircraft, missiles, etc.
    • Use this method to provide an option for use of vibration in combination with the climatic elements, or for use of the climatic tests in combination with each other. This is often noted throughout the text. Generally, the combined environment test simulates those synergistic environmental effects that occur for the majority of the deployment life.
  • Limitations
    • a. Limit use of this method to evaluating the combined effects of two or more of the following: altitude, temperature, humidity, and vibration.
    • b. Some procedures permit testing for the effects of one forcing function at a time and stressing materiel items beyond realistic limits. Doing so may reduce or eliminate synergistic or antagonistic effects of combined stresses, or may induce failures that would not occur under realistic conditions.
    • c. This method does not normally apply to unpowered materiel transported as cargo in an aircraft.
    • d. The tailored test cycle should not include short duration vibration events or those that occur infrequently in the test cycle. These events include firing of on-board guns, extreme aircraft motion, and shock due to hard landings. Test for these events separately using the appropriate test method.
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Other Test Methods listed in MIL-STD-810G:
 
  • Test Method 500.5 Low Pressure (Altitude)
  • Test Method 501.5 High Temperature
  • Test Method 502.5 Low Temperature
  • Test Method 503.5 Temperature Shock
  • Test Method 504.1 Contamination by Fluids
  • Test Method 505.5 Solar Radiation (Sunshine)
  • Test Method 506.5 Rain
  • Test Method 507.5 Humidity
  • Test Method 508.6 Fungus
  • Test Method 509.5 Salt Fog
  • Test Method 510.5 Sand and Dust
  • Test Method 511.5 Explosive Atmosphere
  • Test Method 512.5 Immersion
  • Test Method 513.6 Acceleration
  • Test Method 514.6 Vibration
  • Test Method 515.6 Acoustic Noise
  • Test Method 516.6 Shock
  • Test Method 517.1 Pyroshock
  • Test Method 518.1 Acidic Atmosphere
  • Test Method 519.6 Gunfire Shock
  • Test Method 520.3 Temperature, Humidity, Vibration, and Altitude
  • Test Method 521.3 Icing/Freezing Rain
  • Test Method 522.1 Ballistic Shock
  • Test Method 523.3 Vibro-Acoustic/Temperature
  • Test Method 524 Freeze / Thaw
  • Test Method 525 Time Waveform Replication
  • Test Method 526 Rail Impact
  • Test Method 527 Multi-Exciter
  • Test Method 528 Mechanical Vibrations of Shipboard Equipment (Type I – Environmental and Type II – Internally Excited)