QUV Accelerated Weathering
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QUV testing takes place in an accelerated weathering chamber, designed to create a highly flexible mix of UV light, temperature and moisture conditions. The tests are intended to reproduce the damage caused by sunlight, rain and condensed surface moisture or dew. The chamber subjects the test materials to alternating cycles of light and moisture at controlled elevated temperatures.
The moisture includes both condensing humidity, to simulate dew, and water sprays. The light in the chamber is created by specially-designed fluorescent UV bulbs to simulate the effects of sunlight. Although UV radiation actually only comprises about 5% of normal sunlight, the short-wavelength UV light does most of the photochemical damage.
Although no precise correlation can be made between accelerated test lengths and real-world exposure, the QUV weatherometer reliably reproduces the damage that occurs over months or years outdoors. Samples can include all kinds of paints and coatings, from latex to polyurethane and epoxies.
Types of damage include color change, gloss loss, chalking, cracking, hazing, embrittlement, and strength loss. QUV test data can help in the selection of new materials, the improvement of existing materials or the evaluation of changes in formulations.