MIL-STD-810: That’s what the military standard is all about

More and more smartphone manufacturers state that they have certified their device according to the MIL-STD-810 standard. But what is certification all about? You can find out here!

MIL-STD-810 stands for a military quality standard of the United States of America. For the certification according to this standard, the durability of the devices is checked under certain framework conditions to which they can be exposed during their life cycle. The standard specifies appropriate test methods that reproduce the effects of certain influences on the device, instead of just simulating these environments.

The methods are defined in the standard as follows:

  • Proof that the contractual requirements have been met
  • Definition of the sequence of environmental pollution tests
  • Information about the life cycle of the device
  • Identify gaps and defects in the design of devices, their materials, manufacturing processes, packaging techniques and maintenance methods (if necessary)
  • Assess the performance of devices when they have been exposed to an environmental impact cycle
  • Development of analysis and test criteria that correspond to the devices and their life cycle

The history of the military norm dates back to 1962 and has been revised several times since then:

MIL-STD-810

VERSIONDATE FOCUS
MIL-STD-810June 14, 1962Laboratory test methods that serve as guidelines for the implementation of environmentally friendly parts and contain detailed specifications. The first standard also contains construction information.
MIL-STD-810AJune 23, 1964Insignificant changes compared to MIL-STD-810.
MIL-STD-810BJune 15, 1967The standard specifies methods for determining the resistance of a device to the effects of natural and artificial environments that are typical for military use.
MIL-STD-810COctober 3, 1975Insignificant changes compared to MIL-STD-810B.
MIL-STD-810DJuly 19, 1983A new section on processing now explains how different environmental influences can be taken into account throughout the entire material development process.Explanations and diagrams about the process of environmental adaptation and the history of the ecological life cycle of different military hardware classes.
MIL-STD-810EJuly 14, 1989Like MIL-STD-810D, but with new graphics.
MIL-STD-810FJanuary 1, 2000The new 54-page “Part One” explains how the process of environmentally friendly adaptation can be implemented throughout the entire material procurement cycle, with the focus separately on the roles of the various usage scenarios. Contains instructions for the environmental technology program . The guidelines go beyond laboratory tests and include field trials in nature. Alternatives to testing hardware prototypes (e.g. modeling and simulation) are recognized as standard test methods in environmental technology.
MIL-STD-810GOctober 31, 2008The most serious and detailed change to the standard that focuses on shock and vibration tests. The approximation of the tests to the real conditions plays an enormous role. MIL-STD-810G has implemented vibration test method 527, which replaces 3 axial tests with one that generates multi-axis vibrations that come as close as possible to the actual vibration.

What does that mean in practice?

Take, for example, the MIL-STD-810G certification that is currently in use. A device with such a certification should be resistant to:

  • Moisture and ice
  • Falls from a height of at least 1.2 meters
  • Vibrations and shocks
  • Great heights (low pressure)
  • High temperatures (55 ° Celsius)
  • Low temperatures (-20 ° Celsius)
  • Temperature shocks
  • Rust, mold and salty environments
  • Water and rain
  • Dust and sand

The limitations of the MIL-STD-810

However, the standard as such does not require the manufacturer that the tests are actually carried out and that the device must pass them. This is determined in the respective contractual provisions between the manufacturer and the customer and not in the standard. That also means. If a manufacturer advertises with the standard, the affected device does not necessarily have to be checked for all parts of the standard, let alone the tests have passed.

The MIL-STD-810 standard is usually accompanied by a more general ingress protection certification, commonly known as IP. A smartphone with MIL-STD-810 and IP67 certification withstands a depth of 1 meter in water for only 30 minutes, while a device tested according to MIL-STD-810 and IP68 standards continuously has a depth of up to 3 meters survives.

Some of the devices tested according to the standards of MIL-STD-810 are the  LG G7 ThinQ , CAT smartphones and the TicWatch S2 from Mobvoi.  

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