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Accelerated Durability Testing of Wearable Electronics is Critical in Fast Growing Market

Atlas Accelerated Durability testing

Wearable electronic device.

Reasons for Durability Testing

For the first time, quarter shipments of electronic wearables topped 100 million in Q1 2021, according to new data from International Data Corporation (IDC). In this fast-growing market of high value consumer electronics, environmental durability testing is more important then ever. Here is why:

1. Many electronic wearable devices such as smart watches and fitness trackers are used both indoors and outdoors and are affected by light, UV, heat, and moisture in different climate zones, and under severe weather conditions.

2. Wearable devices used in care and medicine, e.g. to track blood sugar, blood pressure, support emergency calls, or being connected to hearing aids, must function without failure in stressful environments.

3. Wearables are usually high value products, with expected service lifetime of years.

4. Wearables are made of different materials and components such as colored thermoplastics or rubber materials, sealants, and joints, displays, cameras, and protective films. They all tend to be sensitive to UV radiation, heat and moisture.

Accelerated UV Testing for OEMs

Four segments of wearables. Images from OEM’s websites.

Testing Technology

Most wearables undergo numerous quality and performance tests like temperature cycling, humidity, corrosion, power cycling, mechanical bending, and others. Although designers are aware of the harmful effects of UV, they are often unsure about which testing technology to choose and what would be a good test method.

Accelerated Weathering

Testing of wearables inside a weathering instrument.

Atrlas CI4400
A typical xenon-arc instrument: Ci4400 Weather-Ometer.

Test Methods

There is no application-specific testing standard. As recommended starting point, Atlas created a set of four accelerated outdoor and indoor test for wearables, using some of the most common testing standards ASTM G155, ISSO 4892-2, and ISO 105-B06. With additional information, Atlas can support which test to choose based on a best match to the intended end-use conditions. For more information about durability testing of wearables and the details on test parameters, download a free Application Guide.

Answers and More Information

By applying weathering and lightfastness testing, you will receive answers to questions like “What are the right materials for each part of my wearable?” or “Will my wearable product last as long as expected?” or “Will it look good as long as expected?”. Those question and others should be answered to maximize commercial success.

For more information and a deeper dive into environmental durability testing of consumer electronics, listed to our free recorded Atlas Online Seminar.

Also, check out our complete live online seminar program.

Listen to recorded webcasts.