Operating temperature

Operating temperature

Operating temperature

Isaac Gendler

“In what temperatures can a machine operate?”


As a modern civilization, we operate and use machinery everyday. Whether it be something as simple using an alarm to wake us up in the morning or something as exciting taking as plane to another continent, technology has firmly integrated itself into the nuances of human life. However, as engineers, we must realize that such machines have constraints to them. One such constraint is the temperature that the system can operate in, also known as the operating temperature. Since objects and materials have different properties at different temperatures, a system will change depending on the temperature input. And since machines, (both mechanical and electrical) require all parts to work in a highly precise manner, such perturbations in properties could cause drastic failures. To illustrate, let’s analyze a device very familiar to us, the computer. If the internal temperature of a computer exceeds the operating temperature, then component failures will ensue, causing a shutdown. As a result, when designing as an engineer, one must always take into account the operating temperature.

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