This summer, several corrosion group members were given the opportunity to tour the Hewlett Packard facility in Boise, Idaho. The facility spends a lot of time and effort testing printers in various configurations. Members were able to see designed setups for high te mperature-high humidity setups as well as rooms for low temperature-low humidity setups. The facility prints enough paper while testing in one month to stack up higher than the empire state building.
On the tour corrosion group members were shown the room where they test and inspect the sounds the printer produces. A semi-anechoic chamber is used to test this. The room is covered with material that absorbs sound waves. Microphones are placed all around the printer in a lattice to record the sounds produced. By having microphones at various locations they are able to obtain a full sound profile and possible pinpoint from which area of the printer a specific sound is coming from. This information is then passed onto the engineers who try and reduce or eliminate unwanted sounds.
Lastly the group members visited the Materials Science Lab where many different types of tests are run on the printers and their accessories. Some of the characterization techniques in the lab involve SEMs, Optical microscopes, chemical analysis, and many more!