Weather Testing: Choosing The Right Accelerated Weathering Testing Device
When should I choose the QUV accelerated weathering tester vs the Q-SUN xenon-arc lightfastness tester vs Q-Lab outdoor testing?
- The QUV weathering tester is fast and economical. Fluorescent UV lamps provide the best simulation of solar UV. However, the QUV lacks the longer wavelengths necessary for testing certain materials.
- Short-Wave UV: The QUV tester provides the best possible simulation of sunlight in the short-wave UV region, making it ideal for testing durable materials such as coatings, roofing and plastics. Its fluorescent UV lamps are spectrally stable, enhancing reproducibility and repeatability.
- Condensation: The QUV tester's condensation system (100% RH) is the most realistic acceleration of outdoor moisture attack. Penetrating moisture may cause damage such as blistering in paints.
- The Q-SUN xenon arc tester reproduces the full spectrum of sunlight, including UV, visible and infrared. It is especially useful for testing dyes, pigments, textiles, inks and indoor materials. However, xenon arcs are inherently less stable than fluorescent lamps and water spray is less realistic than the QUV tester's condensation cycle.
- Full-spectrum sunlight: Xenon arc lamps produce the full spectrum of sunlight. With optical filters, the Q-SUN tester can reproduce daylight and sunlight through window glass exposure conditions.
- Humidity and moisture: The Q-SUN tester is excellent for light stability testing of humidity-sensitive materials such as textiles, inks, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. With superior moisture dwell properties, it is also the only xenon tester suitable for accelerated 'Jacksonville' acid etch testing of automotive clearcoats.
Q-Lab Outdoor Testing
- Q-Lab Arizona and Florida represent the world standards for sunlight and moisture. They allow the most realistic prediction of product performance. While some exposure tests can take years to complete, there are techniques that can be used to gain useful data in the short term.
- Natural Florida Weathering: Florida subtropical exposures have abundant sunlight, high temperatures and lots of moisture. Most materials should undergo natural Florida benchmark exposures. Even though natural tests can take several months or years to complete, results are the most realistic, and provide benchmark data for accelerated testing.
- Natural Arizona Weathering: Arizona desert exposures lack moisture, but have even more UV sunlight than Florida and extreme, fluctuating temperatures that may cause thermal shock.
- Q-TRAC Natural Sunlight Concentrator: In just one year, specimens can receive as much natural sunlight as 5 years in Florida.
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