There are a number of factors to consider when designing and developing a product that will be subjected to long-term sunlight and outdoor exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, ozone, and solar radiation can all cause different reactions in a given material or product. It’s critical for manufacturers to understand these effects so they can design a product that can withstand the elements.
Three pillars of weathering testing are ozone exposure testing, QUV testing, and Xenon arc testing. These test methods recreate outdoor conditions associated with sunlight and solar radiation and can predict long-term performance in an accelerated time frame.
Ozone exposure—also called ozone attack—can cause cracking and deterioration of rubbers and other materials. Ozone exposure testing can measure the effects of ozone exposure or assess the performance of an antiozonant or other antidegradant used in a compound formulation.
Common ozone exposure tests include:
QUV testing is an accelerated weathering test that uses fluorescent lamps to recreate ultraviolet radiation in a controlled laboratory environment. QUV testing is extremely beneficial for manufacturers of products that may experience long-term exposure to the elements, such as construction materials, textiles, automotive components, recreational items, and more. Moisture and temperature levels can also be controlled to determine how a product or material may react when exposed to a combination of these natural elements.
Common QUV test standards include:
Xenon Arc Testing
Xenon arc testing uses a weatherometer to recreate UV and visible solar radiations in a controlled laboratory environment. Xenon arc light can be combined with other variables to recreate a specific service environment or match a standardized test protocol. Xenon arc testing is a reliable way to quantify how a product or material may react to long-term exposure to sunlight, either outdoors or through a window or other barrier.
Common Xenon Arc test standards include: