Performance Tests to Ensure Suitability for Your Application 1.2 – UV Resistance Outdoor weathering is done to help determine how long a material will last exposed to the sun. Any polymer left exposed outside will slowly degrade and start losing its chemical and mechanical properties. Like chemical resistance testing UV exposure and UV resistance testing can be a significant factor in selecting the correct material. These results are usually in hours exposed or watts which is then correlated to estimated years of exposure All polymers are affected by UV exposure in varying degrees and the lifespan of the polymer depends greatly on additives and chemistry used. Sun light, high temperature and moisture exposure are the key contributing factors that damage a polymer breaking down its polymer structure over time leading to a variety of issues like loss of gloss, fading, discoloration, cracking, crazing, embrittlement, loss of tensile strength and delamination of coated textiles. Sunlight includes Visible light and UV radiation; The UV component of sun is primarily UVA with some UVB, is higher in energy and can damage polymers over time. Natural exposure testing is the best, most realistic and most inexpensive method available, however it would take years to see the changes in the material caused by outdoor exposure. Using accelerated UV testing equipment like Xenon Arc, or QUV can show how well a polymer will do after being exposed outdoors in a fast and reproducible way. The most frequently used accelerated weathering testers are the fluorescent UV accelerated weathering tester and the Xenon arc test chamber.
- ASTM G154-16: Standard Practice for Operating Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
- ASTM G155-21: Standard Practice for Operating Xenon Arc Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Materials