Cable Testing Basic Inspections And Procedures

A crucial step of product design or manufacturing is doing tests. These tests will be carried out in the last few steps of the procedure, aiming on product function and reliability inspection. Generally, tests have some standard content given a certain product type. In this post, we’re going to talk about tests for cables.

Basic inspections

  • Check if the model fits with the spec.
  • Check if the logos on cable are correct (e.g. direction of connector or sides of earphone).
  • Check if there’s any breakage on cable.
  • Check if the cable and connector links well.
  • Check if the metal on connector get rusty.
  • Check if the cable is in good conductivity using a multimeter.

Performance test

For USB cable

    • Link two devices using USB cable, see if the device works well.
    • Transfer a file from computing device to an external storage device (both should be of best performance to ensure the cable is the only limiting factor), and mark down the speed. Compare the speed to USB standard, see if the standard of cable fit with spec.
    • If the cable supports USB PD, use it to charge a device with a power monitor linked, see if the voltage and current meet the spec.

For media cable

  • Link a output and a media device using the cable of corresponding specifications, see if there’s any of the listed problem: flickering, frame freeze, frame skip, sound lose, sound freeze, noise and distortion.

Standard reliability test

This part of test is about the durability of the cable in daily use and in many different environment like coastal areas.

Mechanical test

Connector plug force test

  • Method: Connect force meter to connector, then insert and extract it at a maximum rate of 12.5 mm/min, repeat 5 times and calculate.
  • Criteria: The force should be between 4.5N – 25N.

Connector plug service life test

  • Method: Without electricity load, insert and extract the connector at a frequency of 10 times/min, repeat 5000 times.
  • Criteria: At the end of test, the connector should still be in good condition with the plug force be between 4.5N – 25N.

Connector flexural test

  • Method: Press the forepart of connector using a force meter at a maximum rate of 12.5 mm/min, until the force reach 25N.
  • Criteria: No bending.

Connector pressure test

  • Method: Press the whole connector using a force meter at a maximum rate of 12.5 mm/min, until the force reach 80N.
  • Criteria: No fracture.

Cable tension test

  • Method: Fix the connector, pull the cable at 30 cm away from the fix point, using a force of 60N and hold for a minte.
  • Criteria: No mechanical separation.

Cable swing test

  • Method: Fix the connector, hang a 250g weight at 30 cm away from the fix point, then swing at angle of ±60° and a frequency of 30 times/min, repeat 2500 times.
  • Criteria:  No loss of continuity.

Drop test

  • Method: Drop the cable from a height of 1.5 m, repeat 12 times
  • Criteria: No evidence of physical damage.

Environmental test

High&low temperature test

  • Method: Place the cable in 65±2 ℃ or -20±2 ℃ environment separately for 24 hours.
  • Criteria: No corrosion or deformation on metal part and no damage on plastic part; electrical performance is in good condition.

Temperature shock test

  • Method: Set high temperature point at 60℃ and low temperature point at -20℃. Place the cable in one temperature for 1 hour then switch to another for 1 hour, the switch time should be under 5 mintes. Do the circulation for 12 times.
  • Criteria: No corrosion or deformation on metal part and no damage on plastic part; electrical performance is in good condition.

Steady damp heat test

  • Method: Place the cable in 40±2 ℃ temperature and 93±3 % humidity environment for 48 hours.
  • Criteria: No corrosion on metal part and no damage on plastic part; electrical performance is in good condition.

Salt spray test

  • Method: Set the environment in 35±2 ℃ temperature and 93±3 % humidity. Place the cable in salt spray of a 5% concentration in 6.5 – 7.5 PH for 24 hours. Clean the cable afterwards.
  • Criteria: No corrosion on metal part and no damage on plastic part; electrical performance is in good condition.

So much for cable testing. If you want to know more, feel free to contact us or leave your comment below!

Note: We do not own the images used in this post. Feel free to contact us if they belong to you, and we’ll take them down as quickly as we possibly can.

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