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TESTING | ACCELERATED WEATHERING


BASF’s irradiation mapping database will allow stabilisation of products such as greenhouse films to be tailored to geographical location


The sensor could also be used to measure conditions in an end-use environment, and this data could be used for test method development. The ability to collect more and better data presents an opportunity to further improve the industry’s understanding of weathering mechanisms and potentially further accelerate weather testing.


Below: The Ci4400 is the latest addition to the Atlas Weather-Ome- ter line, offering improved test uniformity and parameter control


Calibration concerns When performing accelerated testing, maintaining and calibrating your instrument is key, according to McGreer. Irradiance, reference surface tempera- ture, chamber temperature, and relative humidity should all be calibrated. Lamps, filters, panels, and spray nozzles may require maintenance. Testing a weathering reference material can be used to determine reproducibility, can identify drift, and quickly shows if there is a problem with the equipment.


Atlas advises that best practice for testing includes use of testing replicates (at least three, according to McGreer) and taking interim test results (rather than just at the beginning and end) to get a better indication of the rate of change of a property. Despite all the efforts to improve the usefulness of accelerated testing, evaluating samples outside, under real conditions in real time, is still important. McGreer says that non-accelerated tests provide perspective to accelerated results and can be used to verify conclusions.


Global understanding Light irradiation is not a constant but varies around the globe. BASF has partnered with the German Aero- space Center (DLR) and the US NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to


70 COMPOUNDING WORLD | December 2018


create a mapping database that more accurately shows how much solar UV radiation reaches the ground in a given location. BASF is using the database to maximise the service life of plastic products by precisely matching plastic additives to the predicted intensity of UV radiation in the region where the product will be used. When BASF receives enquiries about stabilisation systems, the company’s researchers can refer to relevant past data as well as use the new maps to look up UV-radiation data in that region. “The data will be used to extrapolate the UV


radiation for the required timeline into the future. It will also include the consideration of wet-time (rain, dew) and temperature (thermal stress),” says Dr Volker Bach, head of BASF’s Global Competence Center Plastics Additives. “This ‘weather-extrapola- tion’ is then correlated to the corresponding data of well-known weathering/aging locations, where we have accumulated extensive experience with various stabilisation systems in the field. These sites include Miami [Florida], Phoenix [Arizona], and a BASF Plastic Additives in-house site in Bologna [Italy]. Understanding a material’s durability at a certain location under known weather conditions gives a gauge of its lifetime at other locations or regions.” BASF also has a dataset showing the durability


of certain materials at different outdoor weathering locations compared to measurements in acceler- ated weathering equipment. “These studies are the basis for proper and accurate lifetime prediction,” explains Bach.


CLICK ON THE LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATION: � www.atlas-mts.com � www.q-lab.com/ � https://www.eye.co.jp/ (Iwasaki Electric) � www.eyeappliedoptix.com � www.averydennison.com � www.basf.com


www.compoundingworld.com


PHOTO: ATLAS MATERIAL TESTING


PHOTO: BASF


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