UV testing is carried out on polymer products or components (for example plastic, fiber glass, painted surfaces…) to assess their ability to withstand UV radiation from the sun for their expected lifetime while also maintaining their usual properties.
To do so, the item could be placed in normal sunlight for a long period of time to examine the effects of the sun on the polymer.
Typically, when a new product is developed and its resistance to sun rays needs to be verified, some samples are subjected to accelerated UV testing in a UV testing lab, which artificially recreates a long period of time under UV radiation bombardment in a short and convenient timescale.What is UV testing?
Ultra Violet radiations emitted by a light source such as sun. Harmful effect on human: skin Cancer or sunburns, damage eyes, weaken immune system. Benefits: Trigger Vitamin D, Treatment of some skin disease such as psoriasis.
· Improves indoor air quality.
· Used in Hospitals to sanitize equipment.
· Increased energy savings.
· They can prevent asthma and allergies.
UV testing is often required on carbon-based materials and coatings as they react with UV radiations to which they are exposed either because of sunlight or artificial light exposure. UV aging can cause a wide range of damage from color fading to depletion of material resistance depending on the radiation source, the intensity and other contributing environmental factors. Important factors to consider for getting the right answers while requiring UV testing are:
1. UV source
b. Artificial light?
2. Indoor or outdoor exposure?
3. Ambient temperature? Aggravating factor.
4. Ambient relative humidity? Aggravating factor.
5. Rain cycle? Erosion & cooling effect promoting aging.
6. Dark cycle? In some cases, this will promote chemical reactions that would not happen otherwise.
7. Sample size; shape, thickness
8. Which undesirable impacts do you expect and are you trying to prevent? Color change or loss of mechanical properties might dictate the use of a different test protocol.
9. Duration of the predictable real-life exposure.
10. Do you need progressive sampling/measurements on your samples? This will limit your testing costs should the materials you are testing are not performing as expected.