Worst of the Elements
Temperature Extremes
Temperature Extremes

High temperature almost certainly affect the performance of equipment. Corrosion and other harmful processes increase as temperatures rise. Low temperature poses no direct threat of corrosion; however, as temperature drops relative humidity rises. Low temperature poses other risks, including shrinkage and embrittlement of seals and gaskets resulting in leakage and fluid intrusion, as well as complications from frost and ice.

High temperature damage starts at 140 degrees Fahrenheit in storage and in conditions where temperature cycling is in excess of 68 degrees. Additional stresses are produced when electronic equipment is exposed to sudden changes of temperature or rapidly changing thermal cycling conditions. Effects include cracking of seams, delamination, loss of hermeticity, leakage of fill gases, separation of encapsulating materials from components and enclosure surface leading to the creation of voids, and distortion of support members.

temperature chart

High temperatures also impose severe stress on most electronic items, and can cause catastrophic failure (such as melting of solder joints and burnout of solid-state devices). High temperature also causes progressive deterioration of reliability due primarily to chemical degradation effects. It is often stated that excessive temperature is the primary cause of poor reliability in electronic equipment.

High temperature causes progressive deterioration of reliability due primarily to chemical degradation effects.