We operate two QUV UV testers here in New Zealand, both capable of performing combined UV and condensation cycles with three different bulb types and the QUV/Spray can also conduct cold water spray to product thermal shock on the products under test.
UVA340 simulates outdoor light well and has good correlation to field exposure. UVA351 simulates UV from behind glass – it’s good for carpet, flooring, drapes, curtains and for products used solely indoors. Last we have UVB313, which is extreme short-wave UV typically used for benchmarking materials and coatings.
Additionally we have a Q-SUN XE-3H Xenon-Arc chamber capable of producing full spectrum UV light, with a range of filters to match many international standards.
Our QUV Testers
Our Q-Lab QUV/se and QUV/Spray testers can be used to test products to various standards – including ASTM-G154. We maintain a supply of all three lamp types and calibrate our machine using a Q-Lab calibration radiometer.
The QUV/Spray can conduct cycles comprising UV, condensation and cold water spray to simulate thermal shock.
Support for both flat panels (plastics, coatings, samples) and 3-D products is available through our selection of fixtures.
If you’d like more information on how we can help go ahead and contact us.
Our Q-Sun Tester
Our Q-Lab Q-Sun XE-3H is capable of producing full spectrum UV light, with a variety of filters on hand to suit many international standards. The Q-Sun meets ASTM-G155, and MI-STD-810 Solar Radiation standards (and many more) and is most suited to fade / degradation testing.
Additional Equipment we Carry
We carry the following equipment to help evaluate product performance, and durability:
- BYK Gardner Micro Tri-Gloss Meter
- Great Macbeth The Judge II Lightbooth with D65 Lights
UV Testing Vs Solar Radiation
Solar radiation consists, in addition to UV radiation, of visible light and thermal radiation. In fact, only 5 % of all radiation is UV radiation. UV radiation is the most significant factor in fading colours and mechanical weathering. However, other effects of solar radiation are left out from bare UV test.
UV Testing is typically conducted using a Xenon arc or fluorescent tube test chamber, these chambers typically are made for testing material samples rather than products. The sample size is stipulated at 150mm x 75mm x < 10mm thick and typically you would aim to test at least 5 samples in one lot.
UV tests durations are wide-ranging, for an indoor used product approximately 10 hours of exposure may be sufficient. For a building material you’ll want to make sure the samples attain at least 1,000 hours of exposure.
Solar radiation chambers on the other hand are made to accomodate larger samples, and have a slightly different light spectrum and temperature control than xenon arc chambers.
MIL-STD-810 is a common test standard used when applying solar radiation. There are two test methods – cyclic exposure and constant exposure. The duration of the test is determined by the client, we can help to provide advice and benchmarking information if needed.
Typical test durations for MIL-STD-810 solar radiation range from 48 – 500 hours and beyond.
How many samples should we test?
For UV testing you’ll want at least 5, for solar radiation it really depends on sample availability, as always more is better. One thing to note about both UV and Solar radiation testing is there is no accurate means to calculate field life from the exposure period. MIL-STD-810 attempts to provide guidelines for such a calculation, but in practice the unknowns of the end-use environment tend to derail any attempt to quantify UV or solar radiation damage.
For UV testing the following list summarises some of the available test standards you can apply:
- ASTM G154
- ASTM G155
- ASTM D2565
- ASTM D4459
- ISO 11341
- ISO 4892
- ISO 4901
For Solar Radiation refer to this list:
- DIN 75220
- IEC 60068-2-5
- EN 60079-0, Clause 26.10
- EN 60945
For further information, or if you have any questions, please contact us here.