Environmental Engineering Considerations and Laboratory Tests

MIL-STD-810 standard contains test methods and planning for engineering direction for considering the influences that environmental stresses have on material, products or equipment through every phase of their service life.

Used by the U.S. military to test product limits and capabilities that the product will experience throughout its life, MIL-STD-810 testing is also used as a standard for rugged commercial products.

DES is A2LA accredited to perform many of the MIL-STD-810 test methods below under Certificate Number 4998.01. If you have any further questions about the MIL-STD-810 test standard, please  contact us.

Test Method 500 Low Pressure (Altitude)

This test method is used to determine whether material can withstand and/or function in a low pressure environment and/or endure rapid changes in pressure.  Typical applications are products used in aircraft or high ground elevations.  There are procedures for storage, operation, rapid decompression and explosive decompression. 

Test Method 501 High Temperature

Method 501 is designed to evaluate the how high temperatures might affect the safety, performance and integrity of materials likely to be used in areas where temperatures are higher than the normal ambient.  Procedures for operation and storage are within this method.   

Test Method 502 Low Temperature

This test method evaluates the effects of low temperature conditions on material performance, integrity and safety during storage, operation and manipulation.

Test Method 503 Temperature Shock

Method 503 determines whether material can withstand sudden changes to atmospheric temperatures without undergoing physical damage or a decline in performance.  Typical applications are when products are in a stored heated building, then taken outside and exposed to artic temperatures or visa versa.  Procedures and durations range from 1 cycle to multi cycles. 

Test Method 504 Contamination by Fluids

The purpose of this test method is to determine if material is affected by temporary exposure to contaminating fluids either occasionally or over extended periods.

Test Method 505 Solar Radiation (Sunshine)

Method 505 looks at the heating effects of direct solar radiation on material and tries to determine the actinic (photodegradation) effects of direct sunlight.  Procedure I is for cyclic exposure.  Procedure II is for steady state effects. 

Test Method 506 Rain

This test method looks at the effectiveness of protective covers, cases or seals in keeping water from penetrating material, as well the performance of the material during and after water exposure. It also examines any physical deterioration caused by rain and the effectiveness of any water removal systems and protection offered to a packaged material.  Procedures range from blowing rain to dripping water.

Test Method 507 Humidity

Method 507 studies how material reacts in a warm, humid environments.  Procedure I contains requirements for storage and natural cycles.  Procedure II – Aggravated exposes items to more extreme temperature and humidity conditions than those found in nature.  Products can be operated during portions of the test cycles. 

Test Method 508 Fungus

This test method tries to gauge the extent to which the material will support fungal growth and how that growth can affect performance or use of the material.

Test Method 509 Salt Fog

Method 509 is designed to determine the effectiveness of protective finishes and coatings on material but can also be used to determine how salt deposits affect the mechanical and electrical properties of products.

Test Method 510 Sand and Dust

This test method consists of two separate procedures. The dust test looks at the material’s ability to resist the affects of dust that can obstruct openings, penetrate cracks, crevices, joints and bearings and to gauge the effectiveness of filters.

The sand test evaluates material’s ability to perform when stored and operated in blowing sand conditions without degrading performance, reliability, effectiveness and maintainability because of abrasion or clogging of large, sharp particles.

Test Method 511 Explosive Atmosphere

Method 511 looks at the ability of material to function in fuel-air explosive atmospheres without causing ignition and tries to demonstrate that explosive or burning reactions in encased material will be contained within the test item.

Test Method 512 Immersion

This test method looks at whether material can withstand full or partial immersion in water – such as crossing a river – and operate as needed during or after immersion.

Test Method 513 Acceleration

The purpose of this test method is to make sure material can structurally withstand the steady state inertia loads triggered by platform acceleration, deceleration and maneuver and function without degradation.  Typical applications are products used in aircraft, helicopters, and missiles. 

Test Method 514 Vibration

These test methods are performed to determine whether products can function in and withstand the vibration exposures of a life cycle, including synergistic effects of other environmental factors, material duty cycle and maintenance.  Many vibrations categories are included from shipping/handling, transportation and operation in aircraft, transportation and operation in vehicles. 

For more information about Method 514 Vibration Testing, please see our blog articles:

MIL-STD-810 Vibration Testing Overview

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 4 – Truck/Trailer – Secured Cargo

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 9 – Aircraft – Helicopter

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 7 – Aircraft – Jet

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 8 – Aircraft – Propeller

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 12 – Fixed Wing Jet Aircraft

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 15 – Aircraft Stores

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 20 – Ground Vehicles – Ground Mobile

MIL-STD-810: Vibration Testing Category 24 – Minimum Integrity Tests (MIT)


Test Method 516 Shock

Method 516 is performed to determine whether material can withstand the infrequent, non-repetitive shocks associated with handling, transportation and service environments, as well as the material’s fragility (to better design protective packaging) and to test the strength of devices attaching material to platforms that may crash.  This method contains Procedure I – Functional Shock, Procedure II – Material to be Packaged, Procedure III – Fragility, Procedure IV – Transit Drop, Procedure V – Crash Hazard Shock, Procedure VI – Bench Handling and Procedure VII – Pendulum Impact.

For more information about Method 516 Shock Testing, please see our blog articles:

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Overview

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Procedure I – Functional Shock

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Procedure II – Transportation Shock

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Procedure III – Fragility

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Procedure IV – Transit Drop

MIL-STD 810, Method 516, Shock Testing Procedure V – Crash Hazard Shock


Test Method 517 Pyroshock

This test method assesses whether material can withstand infrequent shock affects from the detonation of a pyrotechnic device on a structural configuration where material is mounted. It also looks at the material’s fragility level in relation to pyroshock so that shock mitigation measures can be implemented to protect the material.

For more information about Pyrohock Testing, please see our blog article:

What is Pyroshock Testing? 


Test Method 519 Gunfire Shock

Method 519 is used to determine whether material can withstand the relatively infrequent, short-duration transient high rate repetitive shock input encountered when guns are fired.

Test Method 520 Temperature, Humidity, Vibration and Altitude

This test method is used to evaluate the combined effects of Temperature, Humidity, Vibration and Altitude. 

Test Method 521 Icing/Freezing Rain

Method 521 looks not only on the effects of icing on the operation ability of material, but also the effectiveness of de-icing equipment and methods.

Test Method 522 Ballistic Shock

This method includes ballistic shock tests that typically involve momentum exchange between multiple bodies or between a liquid or gas and a solid such as caused from the impact of a projectile.

The aim here is to determine if material can withstand infrequent shock effects from high levels of momentum exchange on the structure to which it is mounted, as well as the material’s fragility level in relation to the ballistic event so that shock mitigation measures can be implemented to protect the material.

Test Method 524 Freeze/Thaw

This test method looks at the material’s ability to withstand freeze thaw cycles and the effects of moisture triggered by moving from a cold-to-warm or warm-to-cold environments.

Test Method 525 Time Waveform Replication

Method 525 involves replication of a time trace under time waveform replication (TWR) methodology, in order to provide some level of confident that materially can structurally and functionally withstand measured or analytical test time traces in the field. The test also estimates the material’s fragility level in relation to form, level, duration or repeated application of the test time traces.

Test Method 528 Mechanical Vibrations of Shipboard Equipment (Type I Environmental and Type II Internally Excited)

This test method establishes requirements for environmental and internally excited vibration testing of naval shipboard equipment installed on ships.