Date: 05/03/2012

Natural phenomena can cause degradation in polymer systems. The elements of most concern to polymers are ultraviolet radiations, high temperatures and humidity which modify physical properties and the visual aspect of plastic end products.

With the aim of avoiding or at least limiting such degradation process, polymer producers try to do their best to improve the life time of their products by simulating and carefully analysing the main damaging forces of weather. It is therefore possible to evaluate the performances of product under extreme conditions, providing a documented basis of comparison and detailed information that can be critical to production planning and specifications.

This is why accelerated weathering testing is required and performed by special environmental devices which can exactly reproduce all the external conditions.

VIBA Laboratory have been recently equipped with a very innovative Accelerated Weathering Tester, which can simulate all those damaging forces of weather which cause the degradation of polymers; it is possible to perform 1 year of natural exposure in just 300 hours. Rain and dew systems are simulated by pressurized spray and condensation systems while damaging effects of sunlight are simulated by fluorescent UV lamps. The equipment is provided with 24 testing boxes, which means that 24 simulations can be carried out at the same time. 8 standard tests can be processed.