Definition - What does Accelerated Weathering mean?
Accelerated weathering is a type of weathering testing to measure future possibilities of materials' durability under certain environmental conditions. This is a simulation of adverse environmental conditions to speed up the weathering process and evaluate the impacts on the materials. This testing method is used to measure future degradation or corrosion of materials.
In the accelerated weathering, the effects of different environmental conditions on raw materials, parts and finished products are tested through simulation. Accelerated weathering testing capabilities include exposure to:
- Ultraviolet lights
- Corrosive environments
- Extreme temperature
- Humidity conditions
Corrosionpedia explains Accelerated Weathering
Accelerated weathering is a predictor of future performance of material in real conditions. It has little or no correlation between chamber time and duration of exposure. This testing gives an understanding on durability of goods and materials, which are assessed by simulating corrosive conditions. The moisture, ultraviolet radiation and temperature contribute to material deterioration. For example, measuring a coating’s resistance to an environment before full-scale installation helps to avoid expensive coating failure and corrosion.
Environmental exposure causes nearly all material degradation. Weathering on materials causes:
- Haze Yellowness Index
- Color change
- Impact Strength
Many industries are doing accelerated weathering testing to determine whether materials or products meet regulatory standards. The standards include:
- Salt Spray (Fog) Testing
- Copper-Accelerated Acetic Acid-Salt Spray (Fog) Testing (CASS Test)
- Water Fog (Humidity)
- Fluorescent UV-Condensation Exposures of Paint and Related Coatings
This testing also allows producers to assess performance of their products under extreme weather conditions. This testing also provides detailed information, which is crucial in production planning and specifications.
Accelerated weather has two types:
- Accelerated natural weathering – accelerated natural testing is applied to speed up the weathering process. Different types of environmental chambers are used at the industry standards.
- Laboratory accelerated weathering – accelerated through the use of dedicated weathering chambers that are specially designed. Different lamps are used to speed up the effects of solar radiation.