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Almost like the sun

Plastics have to become more and more resilient. One reason for this is advancing climate change. The SKZ Plastics Center is able to test materials in its laboratories even under extreme climatic conditions - thus ensuring their sustainable and economical use.

February 7, 2024

Weathering of a material at the SKZ in Würzburg. (Photo: Luca Hoffmannbeck, SKZ)

How the SKZ artificially weathers materials in extreme climates

The increasing demands on plastics with regard to their resistance to different climatic conditions are becoming more and more important, especially in the context of advancing climate change. Particularly in regions where extreme weather conditions, consistently high temperatures or even temperature fluctuations are common, the study and evaluation of the resistance of plastics is crucial for the sustainable and economical use of this class of materials.

Accurately reproduces the sun's radiation spectrum
Artificial weathering in special test chambers makes it possible to simulate climatic conditions under controlled laboratory conditions. Among other things, the SKZ uses weathering devices with xenon arc lamps, which very accurately reproduce the sun's radiation spectrum in the wavelength range between approx. 300 and 800 nm. Weathering can be carried out, for example, in accordance with the DIN EN ISO 4892-1/-2 test standard. The exact test parameters, especially with regard to temperature, relative humidity and irrigation cycles, are adjusted according to the product standard or OEM standard of the respective car manufacturer.

Different climates simulated 
In the automotive environment, for example, the PV 3929 test method simulates a hot, dry climate similar to the Kalahari or Arizona climates. After weathering, visual inspections, color and gloss measurements, and mechanical tests are typically performed. The PV 3930 test method, on the other hand, simulates a warm and humid climate similar to Florida or the South of France.

Testing of construction products
SKZ performs weathering tests not only on automotive components, but also on construction products. The SKZ has extensive laboratory equipment with 30 different devices for testing weathering and UV resistance. This enables the Würzburg-based institute to test a wide range of environmental and weathering influences on materials such as plastics, composites and metals, even at short notice.

Resource-saving economic cycle
"The testing of materials under extreme climatic conditions is not only important today, but will also play a decisive role in achieving a resource-saving economic cycle in the future," says Alexander Ebenbeck, Sales Manager of the SKZ Testing division. "The tests carried out in our company provide a good basis for both quality assurance and product optimization.

Learn more about weathering tests

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Contact Person:

Dr.-Ing. Marcus Heindl
Business Unit Manager | Testing Laboratory

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