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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.

Colourfastness Testing Series





COLOURFASTNESSTOLIGHT

The complaints of poor colour fastness when sports dress loses color and form, the seat fabric
insideofacarorthecarpetfadestoofastareverycommon.Alldyeswillfadewhenexposedto
sunlightanditispossibleforadyedarticletofadenoticeablyduringdryingonawashinglinein
bright sunlight or, more importantly, under display lighting conditions in a retail outlet. Any
reputable retailer would, however, regard such a level of performance as quite unacceptable.
Testingforlightfastnessprovidesanobjectiveframeworkforwhatisacceptable.

Fastnesstolightisbasicallyafeatureoftheactualcolourantmoleculeitself;itis,infact,ameasure
oftheabilityofthemoleculetoabsorbradiationwithoutbeingdestroyed,theabsorbedradiation
beingdissipatedinotherways.Inadyewithpoorlightfastnessthemoleculewillbebrokendown
bytheabsorbedradiation.Nocolourantiscompletelyfasttolight,butitshouldbeemphasized
that this is not of real importance. All that matter is the colourant should not fade appreciably
duringthelifeofthearticle.

Lightfastnessisthedegreetowhichacolourantresistsfadingduetolightexposure.Differentdyes
havedifferentdegreesofresistancetofadingbylight.Allcolourantshavesomesusceptibilityto
light damage, simply because their colors are indications that they absorb the wavelengths that
theydonotreflect.Lightisenergy,andtheenergythatisabsorbedbythecolourantcompounds
degradethemornearbymolecules.

The resistance to degradation (or fading) of fabric dyes and prints due to light is therefore an
important requirement of a garment because without such resistance, the garment may change
colourandsuchcolourmaynotbeacceptabletothecustomer.

Retailers are also becoming more aware of issues concerning colour fastness to light. Higher
colour fastness is now being demanded for apparel that will be worn predominantly outdoors.
Anothertechnicalissueistheproblemofacceleratedcolourfadingonexposuretolightinalkaline
oracidicperspirationthroughtheintensephysicalactivityofthewearer.

Nowadays the criteria of light fastness is hence becoming a major concern amongst buyers and
consequentlywithdyers.

StandardMethodsoflightfastness:
StandardMethodsoflightfastness:

Generallytwomethodsoftestingarewidelyacceptedbymostofthecustomers.Theyare:

1. AmericanTestMethod(AATCC16,Option3)
2. ISOTestMethod(ISO105/BO2)

Boththemethodsrecommendtheuseofartificiallightsource,namelyXenonArclampexposure
asitisrepresentativeofnaturaldaylight.Thegraphbelowshowsthecomparisonofsunlightwith
theartificiallightproducedbythexenonarclamp.


ColourfastnesstoLight

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series



Xenon with Window Glass Filters


3.0

Irradiance (W/m/nm)

Sunlight
2.5
2.0

Sunlight
Through
Window Glass

1.5
1.0
0.5

Xenon with Window


Glass Filters

0.0
250

300

350

400

450

500

550

600

650

700

750

800

Wavelength (nm)




Testprocedureinbrief
Testprocedureinbrief

Summary :   A specimen of textile is exposed to artificial light source under specified
conditions together with dyed blue standards having known fading characteristics. The
fastnessisevaluatedbycomparisonofthecolourchangeofthespecimenwiththatofthe
standardsunderstandardviewingconditions.
Parameters
ISO105B02
AATCCTM16(option3)
Parameters
rs
ISO105B02
AATCCTM16(option3)
ApparatusandMaterials:
ApparatusandMaterials:
Xenon Arc lamp light fastness tester equipped with a
xenon lamp, suitable filter systems and various control
systems (Water or Air cooled type); Specimen holders;
Apparatus
Masks; Black Standard Temperature (for ISO) Black
Panel Thermometer (for AATCC); Colour Matching
Cabinet
RedAzoicdyedcotton
HumidityTestControlfabric
-
cloth
BlueWoolLightfastness
1to8
L2toL9
referencestandards
RedAzoicdyedcotton
HumidityTestControlfabric
-
cloth
Xenonreferencefabric
TemperatureControlfabric
-
(polyesterdyed)

ColourfastnesstoLight

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series
Exposureconditions:
Exposureconditions:
Normal(Moderateeffectivehumidity)
Normal(Moderateeffectivehumidity)
L.F.ofhumiditytestcontrol
5
Max.Blackstandardtemp.
45C
Extremeconditions(Loweffectivehumidity)
Extremeconditions(Loweffectivehumidity)
ity)
L.F.ofhumidityoftestcontrol
6-7
Relativehumidityofair
-
Max.blackpanel/standard
60C
temp.
Chamberairtemperature
-
Irradianceat420nmor3001.1W/m2/nmforwater
400nm
cooledmachines
Extremeconditions(Higheffectivehumidity)
Extremeconditions(Higheffectivehumidity)
L.F.ofhumiditytestcontrol
3
Max.blackpaneltemp.
40C

-
-
-
305%
631C
432C
1.100.03W/m2/nmor48
1W/m2
-
-


Lengthofexposure
Lengthofexposure

Assessment
Assessment

Expose until a contrast


(change
in
colour)
corresponding to grey scale
grade 4 and later to grey
scale 3 is visible on the test
sample, but at most until
the blue wool reference 7
shows
a
contrast
corresponding to grey scale
grade4

Exposetoacertainlevelof
irradianceisattained;H=E
x3.6xtwhereHisthe
radiantexposurein
kilojoulespersquaremetre;
Eistheirradianceinwatts
persquaremetre(orjoules
persquaremetreand
second;tisthetimein
hoursand3.6isa
conversionfactor
The light fastness rating
corresponds to the number
of the blue wool reference
on the light fastness scale
which shows a similar
contrast.

Rating between BWS 1 and
BWS8

ColourfastnesstoLight

Exposeuntilacertainstageis
reachedandthenassesswith
thegreyscale.Thiswillvary
dependingonthematerial;
Theleastdurableexposedfor
leastamountoftime(20
acceleratedfadingunits
(AFU)correspondingto
referencesampleL4);40AFU
ofexposureforupholstery
(equivalenttoL5,Draperies
60AFUandsoon.L6is
equivalentto80hours,Itis
rareforclothingtorequirea
lightfastnesshigherthanL5




Using Colour Change Grey


Scale1-5

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series


ComparisonbetweencommonlyfollowedISOandAATCCtestingmethods
ComparisonbetweencommonlyfollowedISOandAATCCtestingmethods

Thereisoftenconfusionbetweenthetwotestsinthemindsofpeoplenotfamiliarwiththetest
procedures.Themethodshavetwodistinctdifferencesintermsofassessmentanddurationof
testing.Often,theAATCCmethodisincorrectlyaskedforanumberofhourswhereasthecorrect
measureisAcceleratedFadingUnitsorAFU.

Testconditionsarealsodifferent,asdetailedintheearliersection.Typically,themostcommon
ISOtestisconductedatloweffectivehumidity(extremeconditions).

Asasummary,thefollowingtableshowsthemajordifferences.

Parameter
ISO105B02
AATCC16
Parameter
ISO105B02
AATCC16
Assessment
BlueWoolScale1to8
StandardGreyScale1to5
Durationoftest
Notrelevant.Testcompleted
DefinedbyBuyers,typically20
whensampleshowsspecific
AFUforapparel,higherfor
fading.
hometextiles
Temperature
BlackStandardThermometer
BlackPanelThermometer


FactorsaffectingLightFastnessRatings
FactorsaffectingLightFastnessRatings
ssRatings

Therearequiteafewissuesthataffectcolourfastnesstolight.Someofthesearediscussedbelow

1. Dyestuffused
Dyestuffused

The colourfastness to light is a property of the colourant molecules themselves.  Therefore,
selectionofcolourantsclearlyinfluencesthelightfastnessproperty.Combinationshadesalso
areaffectedbythelightfastnessofindividualdyes.

2. Dyeshade/depth
Dyeshade/depth

Unlikeothercolourfastnesstests,ahighershadedepthgivesmuchbetterlightfastnessratings
thanapaleshadeofthesamecombination.

3. Fabricsurface
Fabricsurface

It has been found that the surface area of the fabric can greatly affect the colourfastness to
light.  As an example, see the example below.  One is a single jersey fabric and the other a
pique.Bothweredyedinthesamebathforthepurposesoftestingandamarkeddifference
was seen in the light fastness.  The pique construction showed a much worse light fastness
thanthesinglejersey.

4. Finishingchemicals
Finishingchemicals

Some finishing chemicals can also affect the light fastness ratings.  While there is not too
muchinformationonwhichchemicalsdo,itisapointtobekeptinmindbyprocessors.

ColourfastnesstoLight

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series

SummaryofImportantIssuesforProcessors
SummaryofImportantIssuesforProcessors

SelectionofDyestuffmustbemadebasedonrequirementsandenduse
Rememberlightershadesgivepoorerlightfastnessproperties
Finishingchemicalscanaffectlightfastness..


Exampleoffabricwithpoor
colourfastnesstolight.
colourfastnesstolight.







Watercooledlightfastness
machine
machine

ColourfastnesstoLight

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series

Arrangementofwatercooled
xenonarclamp
xenonarclamp

Variationinlightfastnessdueto
differencesinknitstructure
differencesinknitstructure

ColourfastnesstoLight

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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.


Colourfastness Testing Series

BluewoolstandardsISO105B02
Bluewoolstandards
test.
test.
BWS1toBWS5,showing
geometricprogressionoffading
geometricprogressionoffading






ColourfastnesstoLight

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