Standard Practice for Atmospheric Environmental Exposure Testing of Nonmetallic Materials
4.1 The relative durability of materials in natural exposures can be very different depending on the location of the exposure because of differences in ultraviolet (UV) radiation, time of wetness, temperature, pollutants, and other factors. Therefore, it cannot be assumed that results from one exposure in a single location will be useful for determining relative durability in a different location. Exposures in several locations with different climates which represent a broad range of anticipated service conditions are recommended.
4.2 Because of year-to-year climatological variations, results from a single exposure test cannot be used to predict the absolute rate at which a material degrades. Several years of repeat exposures are needed to get an “average” test result for a given location.
4.3 Solar ultraviolet radiation varies considerably as a function of time of year. This can cause large differences in the apparent rate of degradation in many polymers. Comparing results for materials exposed for short periods (less than one year) is not recommended unless materials are exposed at the same time in the same location.
4.4 Defining exposure periods in terms of total solar or solar-ultraviolet radiant energy can reduce variability in results from separate exposures. Solar ultraviolet measurements are typically made using instruments which record broadband UV (for example, 295 to 385 nm) or narrow band UV, as described in 7.2.4 and 7.2.5. An inherent limitation in solar-radiation measurements is that they do not reflect the effects of temperature and moisture, which may also influence the rate or type of degradation.
4.5 The design of the exposure rack, the location of the specimen on the exposure rack, and the type or color of adjacent specimens can affect specimen temperature and time of wetness. In order to minimize variability caused by these factors, it is recommended that test specimens, control specimens, and any applicable weathering reference material be placed on a single test panel or on test panels placed adjacent to each other during exposure.
4.6 It is strongly recommended that at least one control material be part of any exposure evaluation. When used, the control material shall meet the requirements of Terminology G113, and be of similar composition and construction compared to test specimens. It is preferable to use two control materials, one with relatively good durability and one with relatively poor durability. Unless otherwise specified, use at least two replicate specimens of each test and control material being exposed. Control materials included as part of a test shall be used for the purpose of comparing the performance of test materials relative to the controls.
1.1 This practice covers procedures to be followed for direct exposure of nonmetallic materials to the environment. When originators of a weathering test have the actual exposure conducted by a separate agency, the specific conditions for the exposure of test and control specimens must be clearly defined and mutually agreed upon between all parties.
1.2 For exposures behind glass, refer to Practice G24.
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The inch-pound units given in parentheses are for information only.
1.4 This practice is technically equivalent to the parts of ISO 877 that describe direct exposures of specimens to the environment.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
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