Weathering is the effect of climate on a material. The main factors of weathering are UV from sunlight, temperature and moisture, with the UV in particular being responsible for photodegradation of susceptible materials. Such degradation can lead to damage including colour change, chalking, cracking/crazing, strength loss and embrittlement – all of which leading to a potential drop in performance and/or failure of components in service.
The objective of artificial accelerated weathering is to reproduce some or all of these natural weathering factors under laboratory conditions via the use of xenon/fluorescent lamps, heat and condensation. Such accelerated weathering units expose materials to cycles of UV light and potentially moisture at controlled, elevated temperatures. Product changes happening naturally outdoors or indoors over periods of months or years can often be simulated within days or weeks in an accelerated weathering unit.
SCOPIC can offer both Xenon arc and fluorescent UV testing, followed by mechanical testing in order to assess the effect of weathering on material performance.