Q-Lab is a global provider of material durability testing products since 1956 and a world leader in weathering, light stability, corrosion testers and standard test substrates.
Q-Lab offer outdoor exposure testing at their benchmark facilities in Florida and Arizona. Contract test services, including accelerated laboratory and physical property testing and evaluation, are also available.
Q-Lab weathering products and services are used by material scientists and technicians in numerous industries including: additives and colorants, adhesive and sealants, automotive, building materials (such as roofing and siding), fabrics/textiles, food and beverages, graphic arts/inks, paints and coatings, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, plastics and packaging, and renewable energy (such as solar).
The quality and reliability of Q-Lab products and services have established their reputation as “the most trusted name in weathering.”
The QUV tester’s short wavelength, ultraviolet light, and moisture cycles realistically simulate the damaging effects of sunlight, dew, and rain. You can generate reproducible and reliable weathering data in just a few weeks or months, with excellent correlation to outdoor weathering tests.
To simulate outdoor weathering, the QUV tester exposes materials to alternating cycles of UV light and moisture at controlled, elevated temperatures. It simulates the effects of sunlight using special fluorescent UV lamps and uses condensing humidity and/or water spray to realistically replicate dew and rain.
Calibration of the device can be performed in minutes by the user. It’s simple, proven design makes it easy to install, easy to use, inexpensive to operate and almost maintenance-free. With thousands of testers in use worldwide, QUV is the world’s most widely used weathering tester.
Q-SUN xenon arc test chambers are full-featured lightfastness, colourfastness, and photostability chambers that reproduce the damage caused by full-spectrum sunlight and rain. A product exposed outdoors to direct sunlight experiences maximum light intensity for only a few hours each day. The Q-SUN chamber can subject test specimens to the equivalent of noon summer sunlight for 24 hours a day, every day. Consequently, specimen degradation can be highly accelerated.
Q-SUN xenon lamps provide the best match to full spectrum sunlight. The testers’ optical filters last indefinitely under normal use. Q-SUN testers allow for control of critical test parameters including spectrum, irradiance, relative humidity, chamber temperature and black panel/black standard temperature. 3D specimens can be conveniently mounted horizontally on the flat specimen trays in the Xe-1 and Xe-3. Thin specimens are mounted vertically on the rotating rack Xe-2 model. Optional water spray and chillers are available. Q-SUN xenon test chambers are the simplest, most reliable, and easiest to use xenon arc testers available.
Q-FOG cyclic corrosion chambers provide the best possible laboratory simulation of natural atmospheric corrosion. Research indicates that test results are similar to outdoors in resulting structure, morphology, and relative corrosion rates. Specimens are exposed to a series of different environments in a repetitive cycle that mimics the outdoors. Q-FOG chambers can perform simple, alternating cycles (like Prohesion) as well as more sophisticated methods that call for multi-step cycles.
Q-FOG chambers are available in three types. The base model SSP performs traditional salt spray and Prohesion tests. Model CCT performs salt spray, Prohesion, and most cyclic automotive tests. Model CRH adds variable relative humidity control and an optional shower function. All Q-FOG chambers are available in two sizes to fulﬁll a range of testing requirements.
Space utilization is maximized and maintenance is minimized with the Q-FOG tester’s internal solution reservoir. The testers have a low belt line and an easy opening lid for easy sample mounting. Q-FOG cyclic corrosion testers offer state-of-the-art corrosion testing technology, reliability, ease of operation and easy maintenance.
The QCT condensation tester simulates the damaging effects of outdoor moisture attack by condensing warm water directly onto test specimens. In a few days or weeks, the QCT tester can reproduce the damage due to moisture that occurs over months or years outdoors. The QCT tester is fast, easy to use and affordable. It uses 100% condensing humidity to simulate and accelerate damage caused by rain and dew on metals, paints, and organic materials. It accelerates over natural exposures by increasing moisture temperature. The QCT tester replaces water immersion and ordinary (non-condensing) humidity tests.
Q-RACK outdoor exposure racks are the same aluminum racks that are used at Q-Lab Florida and Q-Lab Arizona to perform natural outdoor exposure tests. Now you can buy these professional quality racks to perform exposures at your own site.
The durable Q-RACK design has been proven over decades of harsh subtropical and desert exposures. The racks are versatile, dependable, and affordable, and come in kit form for easy assembly. Q-RACK kits, accessories and non-standard mounting systems are available for different applications and testing requirements. They meet ISO, ASTM, SAE and other international standards for outdoor testing. The Q-RACK frame may be positioned at 0°, 5°, 45° or 90°.
For over 50 years, Q-PANEL steel and aluminum test substrates have been recognized as the world standard for a uniform and consistent test surface for paints, adhesives, sealants, and other coatings. Q-PANEL test substrates from Q-Lab minimize metal variability as a source of bias in critical paint, coating and adhesion tests.
Thousands of labs around the world use millions of our steel and aluminium panels every year for colour development, weathering exposures, corrosion testing, physical property testing and quality control.
Q-PANEL standard test substrates are available for immediate shipment from stock in the US and Europe in a variety of sizes and finishes. Custom panels may also be ordered in a range of shapes, sizes, alloys and finishes including curved, sand-blasted, perforated and pre-painted. Look for the Q-shaped hole, it’s their trademark and your assurance of quality.
For all models except QUV/basic, the QUV SOLAR EYE irradiance sensor needs to be calibrated periodically by the user. This will assure accurate and consistent results. Calibrating the QUV tester is simple using the AUTOCAL system and a CR10 calibration radiometer, and takes only a few minutes. The CR10 calibration radiometer is equipped to calibrate a QUV tester with either UV-A or UV-B lamps. For the QUV/cw (cool white), a CR10/cw calibration radiometer must be used.
All Q-SUN SOLAR-EYE irradiance sensors need to be calibrated periodically by the user to assure accurate and consistent results. Calibrating the Q-SUN tester is simple using the provided CR20 calibration radiometer, and takes only a few minutes. Note that the CR20 comes with a 340nm, 420nm, or 300-400nm TUV (Total UV) sensor and must match the type of sensor and filter type actually used in the Q-SUN tester.
All of the QUV tester’s lamps emit mainly ultraviolet rather than visible or infrared light. All are electrically equivalent to an ordinary 40-watt fluorescent. However, each lamp type differs in the total amount of UV energy emitted and in its wavelength spectrum. Fluorescent UV lamps are usually categorized as UV-A or UV-B lamps, depending on the region into which most of their output falls.
UV-A lamps are especially useful for comparing different types of polymers. Because UV-A lamps do not have any UV output below the normal solar cutoff of 295 nm, they usually do not degrade materials as fast as UV-B lamps. However, they usually provide better correlation with actual outdoor weathering.
UV-B radiation includes the shortest wavelengths of sunlight found on the earth’s surface. Consequently, fluorescent UV-B lamps are widely used in QC and R&D for fast, cost-effective results. Because all UV-B lamps emit unnatural, short-wavelengths of UV that are below the solar cutoff of 295 nm, anomalous results can occur. Two types of UV-B lamps are available. They emit different amounts of total energy, but produce the same UV wavelengths in the same relative proportions.
Xenon arc lamps give the ultimate correlation to the full spectrum of natural sunlight. Unlike the QUV tester whose lamps directly determine the radiation that specimens see, the Q-SUN tester requires optical filters to accomplish the same. These optical filters are used to simulate a variety of service environments including direct sunlight and sunlight through window glass. Filter performance does not decline with age; therefore, filters do not need to be replaced unless the glass is broken.
There are three general categories of filters which can be used in the Q-SUN Xe-1 and Xe-3 xenon test chambers. The choice of filter depends upon the material tested and its end-use application. Within each general category, there may be several different types of filters. Each filter is a flat piece of specialty glass specifically designed to have a particular transmission.
Contract Laboratory Testing
For those who are interested in accelerated weathering, light stability, and corrosion testing but do not have their own test equipment, Q-Lab provide a complete range of contract laboratory testing services in their fully-equipped laboratories in Florida and Germany.
Q-Lab can also act as an unbiased third party wherever third-party verification of test results is required. Their labs are ISO 17025 accredited. Q-Lab’s wide variety of testing chambers allows us to perform most common industry standards, such as: ASTM,ISO, BSI, DIN, JIS, SAE, AATCC and more. Our laboratories can also perform visual evaluations on property changes, including cracking, blistering, peeling, chalking, adhesion, colour change and corrosion. Custom testing programs are available. Mechanical changes can also be evaluated. Backed by decades of experience, Q-Lab experts can help you set up a successful contract laboratory testing program that won’t break your budget.
Outdoor Exposure Testing
Q-Lab offers outdoor exposure testing programs at our internationally recognised benchmark locations in Florida and Arizona. Weathering exposures at these sites are not only realistic, they are also accelerated. The subtropical, sunny, humid and warm conditions in Florida make it the ideal climate for testing the durability of materials in outdoor environments. Arizona’s high levels of UV and very hot temperatures make it the perfect location for testing exceptionally durable materials.
Q-TRAC Natural sunlight concentrator testing is also available in Arizona and results in an average of five times more UV than is received in a similar time in Florida.
Test services at both locations use a variety of specimen mounting and exposure techniques to meet a wide array of weathering and corrosion test methods.