MIL-STD Sand and Dust Testing Method 510

Sand and Dust Ingress Protection (IP Code) Solid Particle Testing

The MIL-STD sand and dust test evaluates the ability of the material to resist the effects of dust and sand particles.

As a MIL STD-810G certified lab, we realize the importance of sand and dust testing. Meeting the MIL-STD-810 standard requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process.

Keystone takes a consultative approach throughout the entire test program. Our proven process helps avoid product launch delays. Keystone Compliance partners with customers to achieve MIL-STD-810 product compliance. Our pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts. We have a reputation of helping customers achieve their MIL-STD product certifications. Thus, we are in constant communication throughout the entire test process.

Request a quote to receive testing services customized to your specific needs. Have a question about MIL-810 and level of protection testing? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.

The Importance of Sand and Dust Compliance Testing

The Mil-810 sand and dust lab testing method evaluates all mechanical, optical, electronic, electrochemical, and electromechanical devices. These devices are likely to be exposed to dry blowing sand or dust atmospheres. Sand and dust environments include a wide range of materials and particulate size distributions.

Method 510 defines dust as particulate matter less than 150μm in diameter. Sand ranges from 150 to 850 μm in diameter. The enclosure seal test method provides two procedures.

How Sand and Dust Method 510 Affects Products

The blowing of sand and dust is usually associated with hot and dry environments. However, it can exist seasonally in other regions of the world. Naturally-occuring sand and dust storms are an important factor in the development of material. The induced environmental conditions created by the operational environment such as the battlefield or training can be more severe.

Consider the following typical problems to help determine if the ingress protection test method 510 of MIL-STD 810-test is appropriate for the material being tested. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Abrasion and erosion of surfaces.
  • Penetration of seals.
  • Degrading performance of electrical circuits.
  • Obstruction/clogging of openings and filters.
  • Physical interference with mating parts.
  • Fouling/interference of mobile parts.
  • Reduction of heat transfer.
  • Interference with optical characteristics.
  • Overheating and fire hazard due to restricted ventilation or cooling.
  • Wear (increased fretting due to imbedding between mating surfaces)
  • Increased chafing between non-mating contact surfaces.
  • Weight increase, static/dynamic balance.
  • Attenuation of signal transmission.

This military standard test method does not determine the effects of buildup electrostatic charge. Nor does this method address sand and dust testing outdoors. Lastly, this MIL-STD-810 test does not address settling dust.

MIL-STD-810 Sand and Dust Information

The IP Code Test, Method 510, includes two MIL-810 test procedures. Procedure I – Blowing Dust, and Procedure II – Blowing Sand.

Consider the following MIL-STD 810 lab notes when choosing which MIL-STD 810 testing procedure is appropriate for the material being tested. The operational purpose of the material is to determine the functions to be performed by the material in a sand or dust shock testing environment.

The natural exposure circumstances and the test data required determines if the operational purpose of the material has been met. Lastly, consider if both MIL-STD 810 compliance procedures are to be applied to the same test item.

While both military testing lab procedures involve sand and dust, it is important to note that the procedures are extremely tailorable. To the extent, the users can be willing to test the temperature, composition, duration and air velocity.

Procedure I – Blowing Dust

Use Procedure I to investigate materials to concentrations of blowing dust with particles less than 150 μm. Information required for the execution of Procedure I are listed below:

Temperature – Conduct the blowing dust test with the test item at a standard ambient, high operating and storage conditions.

Relative Humidity – High levels of relative humidity may cause caking of dust particles. Thus, control the test chamber RH to not exceed 30 percent.

Air Velocity – Use a reduced air velocity of 1.5 ±1 m/s to maintain temperature conditions and a higher air velocity for typical desert environments. For typical testing, uniform wind speeds are provided across the test area. 

Duration – Unless otherwise specified, conduct blowing dust tests for at least six hours at ambient temperature, and an additional six hours at the high storage or operating temperature. If necessary, stop the test after six hours to restabilize the item and rotate the item to expose each vulnerable side.

Removal of Dust Accumulation – Procedures for dust removal must reflect the in-service use in accordance with the field manual. Photographs prior to and following the dust removal must be performed.

Procedure II – Blowing Sand

Procedure II investigates the susceptibility of material to the effect of blow sand. These particle sizes range from 150 μm to 850 μm. Information required for execution of Procedure II are listed below:

Temperature – Like Procedure I, unless otherwise specified, conduct the blowing test with high operating and storage temperatures.

Air Velocity – Winds of 18 m/s capable of blowing particles are recommended. However, it is not uncommon that gusts up to 29 m/s will arise. Use shorter distances if it can be proven the particles achieve the necessary velocity at impact.

Duration – It is recommended to perform the sand tests for a minimum of 90 minutes per each vulnerable face of the item at hand and must be re-orientated.

Keystone Compliance Provides Sand and Dust Compliance Testing

Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. In addition to MIL-STD-810 testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including humidity, fungus, pyroshock, and freeze-thaw

Request a quote and learn why so many manufacturers rely on Keystone Compliance to meet their MIL-810 standard compliance testing needs.


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