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ACCELERATED WEATHERING | TESTING


Alternative sources A metal halide (MH) lamp technology is another lamp type that has the potential for even faster results than conventional options. The technology, from Iwasaki Electric, has been used in Japan for 25 years and has been available in North America for six years through Eye Applied Optix, a division of Iwasaki’s subsidiary, EYE Lighting International of North America. The Super UV (SUV-W161) test chamber generates test results in as little as 1/30th the time of traditional xenon or fluorescent tube weathering test chambers. “MH tools use higher UV irradiance with no far visible or infrared spectrum providing heat energy. MH produces highly accelerated results that customers have proven correlate to xenon and outdoor data,” says Doug Vermillion, Director of Eye Applied Optix. At AMI’s Polymer Testing & Analysis conference in September 2017, Mark Alessandro, Product Durability Engineer at Avery Dennison, presented results of PVC film aging and demon- strated that results in a Super UV chamber were quite comparable to testing in a xenon arc chamber (Figure 1). In addition, 10 days in a Super UV test showed a similar failure mode and a small differ- ence in energy at failure compared to three years in Arizona outdoor aging for the PVC film. This test demonstrated the Super UV predicted failure to within five months in a real time scale (Figure 2). The Super UV is well suited for comparative testing in formulation development and other R&D, and perhaps in the future may be useful for compliance testing as well, according to Vermillion. An ASTM committee is developing a standard method for operating a metal halide apparatus (WK46431), which should be published in the not too distant future. Eye Applied Optix expanded its testing lab in September 2017. The laboratory is equipped with a full-spectrum xenon lamp XER-W75; two, 30-sun UV SUV-W161 weathering test chambers; and an IEC BBA compliant full-spectrum 0.5m x 0.5m solar soaking system, which is useful for IEC and other standards for photovoltaic modules and compo- nents as well as material testing applications requir- ing 1-sun, full-spectrum irradiation.


Balanced results Striking a balance between accelerating weather- ing testing and having accurate results is key, says McGreer at Atlas Material Testing. He advises that appropriate conditions of light, temperature and moisture should be chosen depending on the end-use as well as on the polymer type, colour and formulation, because these all affect degradation


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and failure modes. Some common legacy test methods are not based on end-use conditions. ASTM G155 and ISO 4892-2 for xenon-arc testing, for example, call for cycle times of 102 minutes light/18 minutes light with water spray because this was the capability of the earliest equipment set-ups, not on any parameters related to the real world, he says. Over many years of investigation, however,


weathering experts have been building a better understanding of the real effects of conditions such as sunlight, temperature and moisture (rain or condensation) on the surface of plastics. A new test method, ASTM D7869 (Standard Practice for


Figure 1: Comparison of different accelerated testing techniques on PVC film. Materials with primary sensitivity of UV light show equal aging in Super UV and xenon equipment. The sample showed no response to QUV testing as wavelength sensitivity was outside the UVA spectrum Source: Avery Dennison


Figure 2: Delta E comparison to outdoor aging for an unprinted dual layer PVC film PSA construction. Arizona 45° three-year exposure at 350MJ per year, Super UV exposure for 10 days. Note similarity in curve shape and failure mode. Super UV predictive failure within five month energy equivalence of real life. Source: Avery Dennison


December 2018 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 67


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