An important requirement of virtually all military environmental programs, solar radiation testing simulates the deteriorating thermal and physical effects of UV sunlight on products and materials. By measuring how equipment changes during exposure, we help you make better, more durable products, no matter what the conditions.
A key component in MIL-STD-810 and DEF STAN 00-035, solar radiation tests two major effects of exposure to sunlight: thermal response and photochemical deterioration. Because the heat and aging effects of UV radiation can cause significant changes in plastic and non-metallic materials, testing is critical to avoiding outgassing and overheating, discoloration and deterioration, and loss of structural rigidity.
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Because most specifications only call for one solar radiation test, deciding which method is best can be challenging. We help you understand the benefits of each test, and can assist in choosing the one that will best suit your needs. Our accredited test methods give you the data you need to make decisions about product design, development and material selection, so you can be confident in the safety and performance of your equipment.
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Solar radiation testing
Described in MIL-STD-810 Section 505, Part 1, cyclic exposure testing mimics the natural cycles of sunlight, providing an accurate simulation of how materials will react in real-life situations.
Because cyclic exposure better simulates how sunlight changes over the course of the day, this method is generally used to determine how increased temperature will affect a product.
This procedure uses constant temperature monitoring to determine the peak internal and external temperatures of a product, find the point of failure, and establish acceptable working temperatures for products and materials.
solar radiation testing
Outlined in MIL-STD-810 Section 505 Part 2, steady-state exposure testing applied a constant, consistent rate of UV exposure to materials to determine how long it takes for discoloration and deterioration to occur.
Unlike cyclic exposure testing, steady-state exposure uses the same level of radiation over a pre-determined period of time to find out how many hours of exposure it takes to cause varying degrees of peeling, yellowing, material deterioration and structural change. It can also be used to measure outgassing, a potentially harmful release of vapors that occurs when plastics exceed certain temperatures.
Because this is a more accelerated method, it is also used for long-term projects where cyclic exposure would require significantly more time and cost to test.
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We offer world-class materials expertise in polymers, elastomers, thermoplastics, composites and structural adhesives.
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