Standard Guide for Application of Basic Statistical Methods to Weathering Tests
The correct use of statistics as part of a weathering program can greatly increase the usefulness of results. A basic understanding of statistics is required for the study of weathering performance data. Proper experimental design and statistical analysis strongly enhances decision-making ability. In weathering, there are many uncertainties brought about by exposure variability, method precision and bias, measurement error, and material variability. Statistical analysis is used to help decide which products are better, which test methods are most appropriate to gauge end use performance, and how reliable the results are.
Results from weathering exposures can show differences between products or between repeated testing. These results may show differences which are not statistically significant. The correct use of statistics on weathering data can increase the probability that valid conclusions are derived.
1.1 This guide covers elementary statistical methods for the analysis of data common to weathering experiments. The methods are for decision making, in which the experiments are designed to test a hypothesis on a single response variable. The methods work for either natural or laboratory weathering.
1.2 Only basic statistical methods are presented. There are many additional methods which may or may not be applicable to weathering tests that are not covered in this guide.
1.3 This guide is not intended to be a manual on statistics, and therefore some general knowledge of basic and intermediate statistics is necessary. The text books referenced at the end of this guide are useful for basic training.
1.4 This guide does not provide a rigorous treatment of the material. It is intended to be a reference tool for the application of practical statistical methods to real-world problems that arise in the field of durability and weathering. The focus is on the interpretation of results. Many books have been written on introductory statistical concepts and statistical formulas and tables. The reader is referred to these for more detailed information. Examples of the various methods are included. The examples show typical weathering data for illustrative purposes, and are not intended to be representative of specific materials or exposures.
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