What is weathering testing and why is it necessary?
It is essential to have products that are reliable and durable. This is especially true if the products are designed for use outdoors. Weathering testing is therefore a necessity for most products, regardless of industry, so it is very important to know what weathering testing is.
Weathering testing is done by simulating certain weather effects on the products. The tests are normally performed with a machine capable of simulating sunlight, dew and/or rain. These aspects can keep products from functioning to the best of their ability.
For example, car manufacturers use plastic pieces in order to make up certain elements of the car. A car will undergo an immense amount of wear and tear, especially from the climate. As an expensive investment, a car will be expected to withstand these harsh conditions. This is why it is important for all of the plastic parts to undergo weathering testing. In recent years, some manufacturers have refused to get weathering testing done on their plastic products and, subsequently, have been producing poor products that fade quickly, become brittle, and crack. Weathering testing is a necessity that needs to be conducted by all manufacturers regardless of what products they make.
Weathering testing is often conducted in a laboratory and will provide information about the products’ durability. Products will be put through numerous tests that simulate different environmental effects that can cause damage or deterioration. A weathering tester is an intelligent piece of equipment that usually has two different functions:
• Testing exposure to sunlight: The weathering tester is programmed to simulate the effects of UV exposure. This is done by using special fluorescent UV lamps that simulate the UV wavelength of sunlight.
• Testing exposure to moisture: The weathering tester is programmed to simulate the varying degrees of moisture that can occur. It has moisture cycles that use condensing humidity and/or water spray to realistically duplicate dew and rain.
These tests can be conducted in a matter of hours and the tester is relatively simple to use. However, the tests need to be conducted over a few weeks or even months in order to accurately portray the effects of years of real-world weathering on the products. Once the tests have been completed, the product will either be approved or go back to development.
In some cases, weathering testing is conducted on products that have small variations between them. Many products need to have additives, such as coatings, in order to make them more popular with the general market. These coatings can often decrease the product’s durability depending on what materials are used to make them. Therefore additives like coatings also need to undergo testing. Weathering testing is an extremely essential process that needs to be conducted on all products that will be exposed to outdoor climates.
Now that you know what weathering testing is it is essential to get your products tested at a lab that has the best equipment. At Avatar Solutions we supply leading equipment to a number of laboratories, including weathering testing systems. If you are in need of an upgrade, or want to find out more information about our products, you can visit our website www.avatar-solutions.co.za.