Predicting the longevity and performance of a coating system using QUV artificial ageing

Thanks to artificial weathering tests, coatings can be tested more quickly and efficiently for durability and improved. They allow the durability of coatings to be estimated in a shorter time than when tested outdoors. As a result, coatings can be improved faster and effectively.

The longevity and performance of a paint or coating system depends on weather-related and other environmental factors. Artificial ageing tests play an important part in developing improved coating systems and make it possible to estimate the durability of coatings in a shorter period of time than when they are tested in an outdoor installation.

A machine that can be used for this purpose is the QUV tester from Q-Lab. This lets you set alternating cycles of illumination and condensation to simulate sunlight and humidity (dew). It is also possible to spray a mist of water over the test samples to simulate the sort of temperature shock you get from a sudden rainstorm.

A specific QUV test procedure is selected, depending on the application, load severity and the climate the components are exposed to. The lamp type, the UV intensity and the temperatures and duration of testing, together with the settings for the UV and condensation cycles (optionally in combination with a spray step) determine the severity of the test. By evaluating the samples at various intervals during the test, degradation phenomena such as the loss of colour and gloss, crack formation and calcification can be revealed.

Durability of pigment systems tested

Companies don’t have to do this for themselves. Setting up the right test procedure, the correct assessment of degradation and advice on the longevity of a coating system are all part of Sirris’s expertise. Sirris has a wealth of experience testing different materials in collaboration with various companies.

To take just one example, the experts of the Smart Coating Application Lab recently carried out a QUV ageing test for the company Polyvision to evaluate the durability of its pigment systems. Colour and gloss differences were measured at intervals of 500, 1,000 and 2.000 hours of testing.

The QUV test gave PolyVision a confirmation of the colour fastness and durability of their product, even after a long test period of 2,000 hours. This also revealed differences between the pigment systems. The information was very valuable to PolyVision, both for expanding their activities and for informing their customers better.    

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