Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT and MEOST)

HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) is an accelerated product reliability test method focused on finding design or component weaknesses in a product. Incorporating HALT testing during development helps to shorten the total product development time and failures can be found and fixed before they become expensive field issues after product launch. During a HALT test a product is subjected to a series of overstresses to accelerate fatigue in the part of interest. The samples are tested far outside the normal operating conditions. HALT testing supports design verification in a fast and efficient way and can reveal failure mechanisms in a few days instead of weeks or months.

HALT testing is based on stressing the product via a range of different potential parameters. A HALT test is typically based on the following five tests:

  • Temperature Step Testing: In order to determine the lowest and highest operational temperatures
  • Rapid Temperature Cycling: The product is submitted to fast temperature changes with boundary conditions previously determined during Temperature Step Testing
  • Vibration Step Testing: The product is submitted to an increasing level of vibration until the products fails in relation to the operational functionality
  • Combined Testing: A combination of the tests described above
  • Destructive Testing: In order to determine the lower and higher destructive temperatures and the destructive vibration level

MEOST (Multiple Environment Overstress Testing) is used to prove the robustness of the product of interest before it is taken to the market. MEOST is a testing methodology that stresses the product as far as possible beyond the design specifications, but within the known destructive limits (defined or previously determined via HALT testing). A combination of stresses is applied to create interactions that can lead to product failures.  MEOST makes use of environmental stresses in combination with dynamic electrical input and output parameters.

MEOST testing is based on exposing the product to a combination of environmental and use-case scenarios that the product would be exposed to during typical use. For MEOST testing the following guidelines are followed.

  • Use practical stressors such as input voltages and frequencies, and use variations of these
  • Use practical output stressors such as different loads and changes in load
  • Define user case handling sequences, such as on/off switching and different typical operating modes
  • Select several relevant stress conditions and combine them in a test profile. Apply these stress conditions simultaneously and run a sequence of these repetitively
  • Use overstresses and high stress rates
Ideal Uses
  • HALT: Examining prototypes for weak spot identification during the product design process
  • HALT: Defining the MPOSL (Maximum Practical Over Stress Limit)
  • HALT & MEOST: Suitable for the study of complete systems, subsystems or just parts
  • MEOST: Investigation of intermittent failures, e.g. for examination of products that apparently failed in the field but get a diagnosis of ‘no failure found’ when returned for repair.
  • HALT & MEOST: Useful for comparison of current generation versus future proposed generations of the product
Technical Specifications
  • Chamber temperature range: -100°C to +200°C
    Temperature change rate: 60°C /min
  • Fast temperature cycling
  • Random vibration in three axes up to 70g (rms)
  • Combined stress of temperature and vibration
  • Vibration table size 75 cm × 75 cm
  • Maximum table load 300kg
Strengths
  • A complete facility with integrated logging service and multiple channel dataloggers for user definable signal measurement
  • Software controlled AC and DC power supplies can be integrated into the testing set-up if needed
  • A master control program is available that can control the chamber and the power supplies to run automated and cyclic programs
  • Expert in-house analytical staff and instrumentation available for failure investigations
  • HALT engineers directly available to support customers hands-on during the design and execution of HALT testing and can give advice to get the best and maximum use from the results of HALT testing
Limitations
  • Less successful for pure mechanical product testing
  • Not suitable for lifetime prediction
  • Only random vibration, the frequency spectrum is not adjustable
  • No controlled humidity

To enable certain features and improve your experience with us, this site stores cookies on your computer. Please click Continue to provide your authorization and permanently remove this message.

To find out more, please see our privacy policy.