What is Aging

The aging of textiles, composites and plastics, due to light, heat and humidity, causes changes in their appearance and in their physical and chemical properties, often to the point of material failure. 

All materials will degrade or age to a lesser of greater extent under the influence of weather conditions. This process can lead to the detoriation of certain material properties or aspect changes, including decolouration, yellowing, loss of lustre/gloss, delamination, loss of strength and corrosion.

The simulation of real, natural and outdoor aging is both time consuming and expensive. Therefore, accelerated tests on a labscale are simulating real-life aging factors in different appliances: Xenon Arc Instruments, Fluorescent UV Instruments, Carbon Arc Instruments, etc. 

The appliances allow us to apply irradiance on the samples in a controlled manner, in combination or not with temperature, moisture or rain (spray). The parameters are programmed in several cycles.
 

Accelerated aging appliances @ Centexbel

QUV testers at Centexbel

UV-testing at Centexbel

1. UV tests

  • Tester with fluorescent/UV light (UVA 340 or UVB 313)
  • Simulation of natural UV radiation
  • testing of polymers, coating layers or the efficient working of UV stabilizers
  • The lamps do not show the visible or infrared part of spectrum

UV tests at Centexbel:

  • Testing with UVA and UVB  and/or condensation (no spraying)

Xenotext 220+

2. Xenotest 220+

  • Mainly used for colour fastness assessments
weathering tests

    3. Weather-Ometer (WOM) Ci3000 and Ci4400

    • The xenotest 220+ and both Weather-ometers are equipped with a ‘xenon arc lamp’ around which the samples are rotating.
    • These appliances simulate the full light spectrum. By means of optical filters, certain zones of the spectrum can be selected.
    • The weather-ometer allows to monitor all variables, including radiation, spectral distribution, sample/reference temperature and humidity of the test chamber. 
    • The appliance affects the samples in different cycles (dry, rain phase and/or light/dark phase) allowing a vast and accurate simulation of natural aging conditions.
    wheather-o-meter ci 4400

    weather-ometer Ci4400

    Wheater-ometer ci4400
    weather-ometer chamber with samples

    Inside view of the weather-ometer with samples exposed to light and heat.

    Accelerated aging tests in Kortrijk