Can the verb "to participate" be used for an object (and not a person)? For example: "This equipment will participate in a qualification test." Is this correct?
Participate : usually refer to people or entities like, a company, a state or an organization:
- to take part or have a share, as with others (usu. fol. by in): to participate in profits; to participate in a conversation.
In the context you are suggesting, be subjected to or go through can be used to suggest the idea.
I would say
As participate sounds a bit odd: I'd say it was more for people.
As an aside, you could use feature or undergo in this context, however they would grant the sentence different meanings: feature would imply that the object is going to just be in the test, perhaps helping, whereas undergo would suggest that it is having the test done to it.
As previously suggested by John Lawler the object in question could be sufficiently anthropomorphised such that participate in would make sense, as in the sentence he suggested