Weathering Testing for Plastics and Polymers

Weathering testing for plastics and polymers is an important part of the quality assurance process in manufacturing and production. It is essential that the lifespan and durability of component parts and products made from plastics and polymers can be measured, predicted and improved where possible. Weather testing emulates the effects of natural conditions on polymers and plastics in a laboratory environment to measure degradation. Typical weather conditions that most severely affect the properties of polymers and plastics include UV/ xenon exposure, high temperatures, fluctuations in temperature, moisture and humidity. While such testing can be done naturally, in real-time, this does not offer results in a timely fashion. One compromise is accelerated weathering testing. This employs an array of different tests that test the resistance of polymers and products containing polymers to determine critical properties before and after exposure. Weathering testing for polymers and plastics has many applications across various industries. Materials commonly tested, for example, include dyes and pigments that add colour to paint and plastics. Products being manufactured for use in hot countries or that will experience constant exposure to weather conditions (such as vehicles) will also require such testing.

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