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Accelerated Life Testing

Environmental chamber
Environmental chamber

To quantify product life characteristics, most companies run burn-in tests attesting their product is quite reliable. In real life, this method is not enough to secure a reliable product. Further analysis is needed to validate reliability and security quantification failures under typical conditions of use.

The reliability of any electrical or electronic product is affected by its surrounding environment, especially those devices functioning in harsh conditions. Heat stress, sudden temperature changes, humidity, shock, and vibration touch the product's lifespan and accelerate physical degradation by decreasing its MTBF figure. To reduce or eliminate potential failures, submit the product for environmental testing during the development.

ALT and HALT Tests

Among those tests, we find the ALT or the HALT, which allows us to subject the product to different stress levels.

Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) or High Accelerated Life Testing is a way to prove the reliability of a product. These methods outline exposing the product to harsh conditions beyond intended environmental requirements to identify the product endurance limit and failures in short-time testing. A reliability test plan is required.

The test helps engineers and technicians detect those components that do not meet the wanted requirement.

Life Cycle Test Plan

The reliability test plan is a procedure that specifies well-organized techniques for testing a specific device or machine. It contains information such as product design and assembly and formulates methods to stimulate failures on the unit(s) under test in a short period.

Before proceeding with the environmental testing, a test plan is required to describe the procedures applied to the product under test.

The objectives of Accelerated Life Testing:

  • Discover the sources of failures,

  • Identify the functional limits of operation,

  • Establish the mechanical damage limits of the device

  • Accelerated time to complete tests

  • Product reliability and availability

The test attempts to stimulate breakdowns by implementing extra environmental changes on the device's components.

The product is subject to accelerated stress levels such as ambient temperature and humidity, temperature shock, humidity variations, vibrations, pressure, and other constraints on the device's operation.

Upon completion, the test result integrates the device reliability report.

When to perform testing?

As the product approaches its final stages, it is a good idea for life cycle testing to evaluate components and systems. This way, any hardware changes made to the product will be less expensive than waiting for the final version.

To create a Reliability Test Plan contact Expertemc at

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