We have two weatherometer instruments that are used for accelerated weathering experiments. These instruments allow us to expose samples to intense UV light, heat and moisture and simulate worst-case-scenarios.
These are two of our most-used instruments. Many of our experiments are comparative studies of materials, treatments, or coatings, and one way that we gauge their performance is by comparing how well or badly they age over time when exposed to UV radiation, moisture and heat in the weatherometers.
There are a variety of ASTM standards available for accelerated weathering testing using the weatherometers that permit a range of different exposure conditions. Some of the ASTM standards are determined by material type being tested, for example non-metallic samples or adhesive joints. Exposure variables that can be controlled for these tests are UV-A or UV-B exposure, the length of time the UV lights are on, whether there is a moisture cycle, whether the moisture is introduced to the samples by direct spray or condensation, and the temperature under which the samples are exposed to these conditions.
Currently, these instruments are being used in studies examining the removal of crude oil from historic building materials, effects of herbicides on historic building materials, and the stability of adhesives used to consolidate paper shale fossils.
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