Defined conditioning and ambient conditions

The observance of defined conditioning and ambient conditions with regard to temperature and humidity is of great importance with regard to the comparability of test results.

Specifications for the duration of conditioning can usually be found in the material standards for the plastic being tested. Specimens used in tests on molding materials must additionally be kept in a 'standard atmosphere' (standardized temperature and humidity conditions) for at least 16 hours prior to the test.

Where tests are carried out in a 'standard atmosphere', this refers to a defined standard atmosphere as specified in ISO 291 or ASTM D1349.

Temperate atmosphere: 23 ± 2 °C, 50 ± 10 %r.F.
Sub-tropical atmosphere: 27 ± 2 °C, 65 ± 10 %r.F.

These tolerances correspond to Class 2. For Class 1 the tolerances are halved.

'Room temperature' usually refers to a rather wider temperature range, between 18°C and 28°C.

Tests at high or low temperatures are also possible; differing requirements can be specified for these.

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