What Does Weathering Chamber Mean?
A weathering chamber is a type of environmental or climate chamber that simulates accelerated weathering conditions on a material or object in order to test that item’s ability to withstand weathering. Tests may include a variety of weathering cycles while introducing ultraviolet light, water, heat and corrosive conditions.
These chambers are useful when developing materials that will be exposed to external conditions. The capability of a material to retain its desired properties after continued exposure to weathering provides an estimate of the service life of a material. Research and development helps determine the factors necessary to engineer more reliable materials that can handle harsh conditions.
Corrosionpedia Explains Weathering Chamber
Environmental conditions that contribute to weathering include:
- Temperature (including sudden temperature changes)
- Salt spray
- UV radiation
The natural weathering of materials exposed to the above conditions may take many years, which is impractical for expeditiously testing and developing products. As such, weathering chambers provide a space where artificial weather conditions can be created in an accelerated and controlled manner. Examples include:
- Simulating sunlight with specialized gas-discharge, electric arc or fluorescent lamps
- Testing the effectiveness of a corrosion-resistant coating
Various properties may be tested. Often, mechanical properties such as tensile strength, elasticity or visible characteristics such as discoloration and cracking are evaluated. Other materials might be tested for their ability to resist corrosive salt sprays.