HALT! Watch out for that weakest link.

HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Test) uses the weakest link mentality. We apply stresses beyond what our designs would normally see in the environment to make something fail. It's meant to be an iterative test program where you are testing, analyzing the results, determining the root cause, fixing the design, and then testing it, again.

Listen-in to the podcast or read the transcript to find out more about its roots, why you should perform HALT (or not), when in the design process it's best (hint: really early), and who likely needs to be involved.

HALT is not ALT (accelerated life testing). There's not much alignment between the two besides they're both testing and they have nearly identical names. HALT goals are eliminate the weakest link. ALT aims for reliability modeling calculation, and speeds up test time by altering the conditions of test.

Once you've had a chance to listen, I want to hear from you. Share your answer in the comments section. Do you think you'll have a need for HALT testing for a future project? What industry do you serve? And, share this blog with other designers that you think are interested in getting reacquainted with HALT - there's handy social buttons on page-left.

If you want to consider HALT as part of your reliability test program, then talk with your local Reliability Engineer, contact me, or check out my additional reliability resources. Here is a text that can get you started in learning more about HALT:

Gray, Kirk A. and John J. Paschkewitz. Next Generation HALT and HASS: Robust Design of Electronics and Systems. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2016. doi:10.1002/9781118700228.

I had a chance to work with Delserro Engineering Solutions a few years ago, a test facility in Pennsylvania. They have a website of the tools and equipment they've used for both HALT and ALT testing for clients. Check out their website and their YouTube channel for video examples of test set-ups and the equipment and tooling involved: www.desolutions.com.


These are the other texts I cited to create this podcast.

Benbow, Donald W. and Hugh W. Broome. The Certified Reliability Engineer Handbook, Second Edition. ASQ Quality Press, 2013.

Ebeling, Charles E. An Introduction to Reliability and Maintainability Engineering. Waveland Press, Inc., 2005.

Leave a Comment