What is Aging
The aging of textiles, composites and plastics, due to light, heat and humidity, causes changes in their appearance and in their physical and chemical properties, often to the point of material failure.
All materials will degrade or age to a lesser or greater extent under the influence of weather conditions. This process can lead to the deterioration of certain material properties or aspect changes, including decoloration, yellowing, loss of lustre/gloss, delamination, loss of strength and corrosion.
The simulation of real, natural and outdoor aging is both time consuming and expensive. Therefore, accelerated tests on a lab-scale are simulating real-life aging factors in different appliances: Xenon Arc Instruments, Fluorescent UV Instruments, Carbon Arc Instruments, etc.
The appliances allow us to apply irradiance on the samples in a controlled manner, in combination or not with temperature, moisture or rain (spray). The parameters are programmed in several cycles.
Accelerated aging appliances @ Centexbel
1. UV tests
- Tester with fluorescent/UV light (UVA 340 or UVB 313)
- Simulation of natural UV radiation
- testing of polymers, coating layers or the efficient working of UV stabilizers
- The lamps do not show the visible or infrared part of spectrum
UV tests at Centexbel:
Testing with UVA and UVB and/or condensation (no spraying)
2. Xenotest 220+
- Mainly used for colour fastness assessments
3. Weather-Ometer (WOM) Ci3000 and Ci4400
- The xenotest 220+ and both Weather-ometers are equipped with a ‘xenon arc lamp’ around which the samples are rotating.
- These appliances simulate the full light spectrum. By means of optical filters, certain zones of the spectrum can be selected.
- The weather-ometer allows to monitor all variables, including radiation, spectral distribution, sample/reference temperature and humidity of the test chamber.
- The appliance affects the samples in different cycles (dry, rain phase and/or light/dark phase) allowing a vast and accurate simulation of natural aging conditions.
Inside view of the weather-ometer with samples exposed to light and heat.