CSZ, A Gentherm Company  

Thermal Shock Testing

A thermal shock test can be performed on individual parts or assembled components. Its purpose is to accelerate the stresses that occur on materials when rapid transitions of extreme temperatures are applied. By creating a temperature shock we can evaluate how different materials respond to expansion and contraction brought on by rapid temperature transitions.

In order to accelerate the exposure to vastly different extreme temperatures, product is moved between two separate hot and cold thermal zones. One that is at the high-temperature extreme and one that is at the low-temperature extreme. After the test material has had sufficient time to soak, the material is then mechanically transitioned to the opposite thermal zone. Because each zone is maintained at the soak temperatures, the extra time and energy needed to change the internal temperature of a chamber from one extreme to another is practically eliminated. The resulting test conditions are immediately applied to the material under test. This rapid transition is referred to as a thermal or temperature shock.

For large batch testing our laboratory uses a thermal shock chamber with two hot zones and one cold zone to test twice the about of product at once.

Thermal shock testing is often used for reliability testing as it also can effectively simulate similar stress conditions which may be experienced over a product life-cycle but in a much smaller and accelerated timespan. The results of the testing can also be used to identify areas where a product could be re-designed to remove weaknesses that could lead to product failure and costly warranty rework or recalls.

Thermal Shock Capabilities

In our Detroit test lab, we are proud to offer one of the largest vertical thermal shock chambers available. This thermal shock chamber provides up to 128 cu.ft. of internal space in each temperature zone. A typical transfer cycle for this chamber is completed in 5 seconds or less. For a detailed list of testing services available at each of our testing locations, please visit the Cincinnati Test lab capabilities page, or the Detroit Test lab capabilities page.

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  • Products Tested
  • Test Specifications

Here are a few of the products that are often tested in thermal shock conditions:

  • Airbag Inflators
  • DAB & PAB
  • Electronics
  • Medical Products
  • Military Products
  • Roofrails
  • Steering Wheels
  • ...and more


The following are a few of the common specifications that require the use of temperature and humidity testing. Tests may also be adapted to your specific needs, view full list of specifications.

Specification Type of Product
AKLV-03 Airbag Inflators
EN90016 Airbag Inflators
EN98003 Airbag Inflators
EN980058 Airbag Inflators
ASTM D 5427 Inflatable Fabric Restraints
CEI/IEC 68 Series Medical Products Commercial and Military
CM20106 Rev 1 Steering Wheels DAB & PAB
GM-CM20217 Steering Wheels DAB & PAB
GM-CM20221 Steering Wheels DAB & PAB
GMW3118GS-5-2-V-1 PAB, DAB, Steering Wheels, Roofrails
MIL-STD-202G IC’s, Circuit Boards
MIL-STD-833D IC’s, Circuit Boards
Navistar Military Products

Please complete the form below to request information or a quote on a specific CSZ product.