Doing inspections on samples undergoing any accelerated aging test (such as UV tests, corrosion test, etc.,) at strategically placed time intervals can save you a lot of time and money. Indeed, despite the term “accelerated”, aging takes time.
Therefore if you are trying to assess how a given material will perform in five or ten years, you are more than likely looking at weeks, probably months, of testing. Should your product not perform as expected upon test completion, assuming no inspections were done at various time intervals, you will have lost both time and money. Many non-invasive measurements can be done while your samples are undergoing the aging test you asked for.
Advantages of time interval inspections
The main two advantages these measurements give you are as follows:
- Poor product performance, if this happens, can be readily identified and testing can be stopped prematurely thus saving you time and money.
- Interval measurements can be plotted as a function of time. This gives you a very good assessment of whether your product is border line acceptable or if it behaves really well.
In the latter case this allows you, within reason, to extrapolate beyond the real time duration your product was tested for therefore providing you with additional, albeit non quantifiable, information.
Common measurements done at various time intervals upon doing accelerated aging include:
- ASTM G154 (Uses fluorescent light sources that can simulate UVA or UVB)
- ASTM G155 (Cyclic Salt Fog/UV Exposure of Painted Metal test)
- ASTM B117 (Salt spray test)
- ASTM D5894 (Cyclic Salt Fog/UV Exposure of Painted Metal)
- Visual examination
- Digital photographs
- ASTM D523 (Specular Gloss): measures how glossy a surface is
- ASTM D2240 (Durometer Hardness): measures surface hardness
- ASTM D2244 (Color Measurement (Delta E))
- ASTM D2616 (Evaluation of Visual Color Difference with a Gray Scale)
- ASTM D3359 (Measuring Adhesion by Tape Test) Coating adhesion)
- ASTM D3363 (Film hardness by Pencil Test)
- ASTM D610 (Degree of Rusting)
- ASTM D714 (Degree of Blistering)
- Computerized data acquisition ongoing monitoring
My career has been focused on simulating real life in the lab under controlled yet accelerated conditions. My passion for lab testing lead me to start Micom Laboratories Inc. 16 years ago. Through time I made sure Micom has the necessary equipment to simulate various environmental parameters such as the sun, vibrations, heat, cold, thermal shocks and humidity. I wanted to be able to move things back and forth, apply stresses to the products and materials we test and see how they react to the various stimuli. To do so we test products and materials against known standards and specifications (certification) and in many cases by creating my own test protocols and specifications (this is the cherry on top of the sundae…). This is what led me to participate in many standards writing committees and to become chairman of some of these committees.