You are on page 1of 5

AATCC Test Method 186-2001

Weather Resistance: UV Light and Moisture Exposure

Developed in 1999 by AATCC Commit- of ultraviolet radiation are not well de- panel goes out.
tee RA64; revised 2000; editorially re- fined and may vary according to the user.
vised and reaffirmed 2001. Committee E-2.1.2 of the CIE distin- 5. Uses and Limitations
guishes in the spectral range between 400
and 100 nm: 5.1 The use of this procedure is in-
1. Purpose and Scope UV-A 315-400 nm tended to simulate the deterioration
caused by the UV energy in sunlight and
1.1 This test method provides a proce- UV-B 280-315 nm
water. Exposures are not intended to sim-
dure for the exposure of textile materials UV-R 280-400 nm
ulate the deterioration caused by local-
of all kinds, including coated fabrics and 3.9 UV-A Type Fluorescent UV ized weather phenomena, such as atmo-
products made thereof, in a laboratory ar- lamp, n.—a fluorescent UV lamp where spheric pollution, biological attack and
tificial weathering exposure apparatus radiant emission below 300 nm is less salt water exposure.
employing fluorescent UV lamps as a than 2% of its total light output. 5.2 Cautions. Variation in results may
light source and using condensing humid- 3.10 UV-B Type Fluorescent UV be expected when operating conditions
ity and/or water spray for wetting. lamp, n.—a fluorescent UV lamp where are varied within the accepted limits of
radiant emission below 300 nm is more this procedure. Therefore, no reference
2. Principle than 10% of its total light output. shall be made to results from the use of
3.11 weather, n.—climatic conditions this procedure unless accompanied by a
2.1 Specimens are exposed to a fluo- at a given geographic location, including report detailing the specific operating
rescent UV light source and to periodic such factors as sunlight, rain, humidity conditions in conformance with the sec-
wetting under controlled conditions. Re- and temperature. tion on Report.
sistance to degradation is rated in terms 3.12 weather resistance, n.—ability 5.3 Results obtained from this proce-
of a comparison standard and the expo- of a material to resist degradation of its dure can be used to compare the relative
sure criteria, percent loss in strength or properties when exposed to climatic con- durability of materials subjected to the
percent residual strength (breaking or ditions. specific test cycle used. Comparison of
bursting as appropriate) and/or color results from specimens exposed in differ-
change of the material when evaluated 4. Safety Precautions ent types of apparatus should not be made
under standard textile conditions. unless correlation has been established
NOTE: These safety precautions are among devices for the material to be
3. Terminology for information purposes only. The pre- tested. Variations in results may be ex-
cautions are ancillary to the testing proce- pected when operating conditions vary
3.1 breaking strength, n.—the maxi- dures and are not intended to be all inclu- within the limits of this procedure. Be-
mum force applied to a specimen in a ten- sive. It is the user’s responsibility to use cause of the variability in results obtained
sile test carried to rupture. safe and proper techniques in handling using this practice and the variability in
3.2 bursting strength, n.—the force or materials in this test method. Manufac- results from exterior exposures, use of a
pressure required to rupture a textile by turers MUST be consulted for specific single “acceleration factor” that relates
distending it with a force, applied at right details such as material safety data sheets hours of an accelerated exposure to a spe-
angles to the plane of the fabric, under and other manufacturer’s recommenda- cific period of outdoor exposure is not
specified conditions. tions. All OSHA standards and rules recommended. Because of possible varia-
3.3 fluorescent UV lamp, n.—a lamp must also be consulted and followed. tions in results, no reference should be
in which radiation at 254 nm from a low- 4.1 Good laboratory practices should made to results obtained from tests con-
pressure mercury arc is transformed to be followed. Wear safety glasses in all ducted in the apparatus using this proce-
longer wavelength UV by a phosphor. laboratory areas. dure unless accompanied by the informa-
3.4 irradiance, n.—radiant power per 4.2 Do not operate the test equipment tion required in the section on Report.
unit area as a function of wavelength ex- until the manufacturer’s operating in- 5.4 There are a number of factors that
pressed as watts per square meter, W/m2. structions have been read and under- may decrease the degree of correlation be-
3.5 radiant energy, n.—energy travel- stood. It is the responsibility of whoever tween accelerated tests using laboratory
ing through space in the form of photons operates the test equipment to conform to light sources and actual use exposures.
or electromagnetic waves of various the manufacturer’s directions for safe op- 5.4.1 Differences in the spectral dis-
lengths. eration. tribution between the laboratory light
3.6 spectral energy distribution, n.— 4.3 The test equipment contains high source and sunlight.
the variation of energy due to the source intensity lamps. Do not look directly at 5.4.2 Shorter than normal wavelength
over the wavelength span of the emitted the light source. The door to the test exposures are often used to obtain faster
radiation. chamber must be kept closed when the failure rates in laboratory accelerated ex-
3.7 standard atmosphere for testing equipment is in operation. posure tests. For outdoor exposures, the
textiles, n.—air maintained at 21 ± 1°C 4.4 Before servicing the light sources, cut-on for short wavelength UV radiation
and 65 ± 2% relative humidity. allow 30 min for cool-down after the is generally considered to be 300 nm. Ex-
3.8 ultraviolet radiation, n.—radiant lamp operation has been terminated. posures to UV radiation of wavelengths
energy for which the wavelengths of the 4.5 When servicing the test equipment, less than 300 nm, may produce degrada-
monochromatic components are smaller shut off both the “off” switch on the front tion reactions, which do not occur when
than those for visible radiation and more panel and the main power disconnect the material is used outdoors. If a labora-
than about 100 nm. switch. When equipped, ensure that the tory light source used in an accelerated
NOTE: The limits of the spectral range main power light on the machine front test contains UV radiation of wave-

348 TM 186-2001 AATCC Technical Manual/2006

Copyright © 2005 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
lengths shorter than that found in the ac- as a result of exposure. The test equip- ated weathering test, nor is this method
tual use condition, the mechanism of deg- ment manufacturer, physical test appara- restricted to the use of these cycles. The
radation and stability ranking of materials tus and number of replicate specimens re- degree of correlation to any actual out-
can be dramatically different in the accel- quired will affect the needed specimen door weathering exposure must be deter-
erated test. dimension. The test procedures which mined by quantitative analysis.
5.5 It may not be necessary to simulate will be used to assess the change in prop-
daylight over the entire spectrum, if radi- erties should be reviewed to ensure that 9. Standards of Comparison
ation in a specific region is known to pro- specimen size is appropriate for perform-
duce the type of degradation of interest in ing the subsequent procedures. 9.1 Standards for comparisons can be
the materials being tested and does not al- Cut strips of fabric at least 102 × 152 made of any suitable textile material
ter stability ranking of materials. Labora- mm with the longer dimension parallel to where a history of strength degradation or
tory light sources, which have a very the warp of machine direction, unless color change rates are known depending
strong emission in a narrow band relative otherwise specified, for the following upon individual test needs. They must be
to the rest of the ultraviolet or visible tests: exposed simultaneously with the test
spectrum, however, may cause a particu- 7.2.1 Bursting Strength (Ball Burst). specimen to be investigated. The intent of
lar reaction to be favored relative to oth- 7.2.2 Breaking Strength (Grab Tensile). these standards is to demonstrate unifor-
ers which may be very important. This 7.2.3 Color Change. mity between separate machine and test
type of light source also may not produce runs. When test data of the exposed stan-
7.2.4 When required to prevent ravel-
changes caused in exposures to daylight. dards differ by more than 10% from the
ing, the specimens may be edged using a
Exposures to light sources, which only known data, the test machine operating
flexible epoxy resin or similar material.
produce ultraviolet radiation may not conditions must be thoroughly reviewed
7.2.5 Label each specimen for identifi- and any malfunctions or defective parts
produce color fade caused by visible radi- cation using material resistant to the envi-
ation, and may cause polymer yellowing corrected. The test is then repeated. If the
ronment encountered during the test. data still differ by more than 10% from
that is more pronounced than that pro-
duced in exposures to daylight. the known data and there is no evidence
8. Test Cycle Determination of machine malfunction, then the test
standard should be questioned and re-
6. Apparatus (See 17.1) 8.1 The test cycle is best determined by
evaluated. Test data obtained with ques-
the influencing factors of the end use, in
6.1 Test chamber (see 17.2). tionable standards must be treated with
particular, the climatic conditions. Not all
6.2 UV-A type fluorescent UV lamp caution and resolution provided with
materials are affected equally by the
(see 17.7). quantitative analysis.
same environment. Results obtained by
6.3 Moisture system.
the use of any one test cycle may not be
6.3.1 Condensation. The moisture sys- 10. Procedure
representative of those of any other test
tem may be used to generate either con-
cycles or any outdoor weathering test. 10.1 Maintain and calibrate the appara-
densation or water spray or both (see
Any acceleration factor derived for one tus in accordance with the manufacturer’s
geographic location does not necessarily recommendations.
6.3.2 Water spray. The test chamber
apply to any other geographic location. 10.2 Before beginning the exposure
may be equipped with a means to intro-
However, certain test cycles are sug- test, bring all specimens, control and test,
duce intermittent water spray onto the
gested to group similar climates with re- to moisture equilibrium in the atmo-
test specimens under specified condi-
spect to the test cycle. sphere for testing textiles in accordance
tions. The spray shall be uniformly dis-
tributed over the samples. The spray sys- 8.2 The nature of the test material con- with ASTM D 1776, Standard Practice
tem shall be made from corrosion tributes to the selection of the appropriate for Conditioning and Testing Textiles.
resistant materials that do not contami- test cycle with respect to UV exposure, Equilibrium is considered to have been
nate the water employed. wetting, wet time and temperature. The reached when the increase in mass of the
6.4 Black panel thermometer (see 17.8 following test cycles options have been specimen in successive weightings made
and 17.9). used for textile materials. at intervals of not less than 2 h does not
6.5 Specimen holders (see 17.10). 8.2.1 Option 1, General Applications: exceed 0.1% of the mass of the specimen.
6.6 Test chamber location (see 17.11). 8 h UV at an irradiance of 0.77 W/m2 @ Perform any necessary tests or evalua-
340 nm at 60°C followed by 4 h con- tions necessary to establish a base line for
densation at 50°C. This option is used for comparing the unexposed specimens to
7. Test Samples
general applications such as outdoor fur- the exposed specimens.
7.1 Number of Specimens. Replicate niture fabrics, tent material, etc. 10.3 Specimen Mounting. Mount the
specimens of the material to be tested and 8.2.2 Option 2, Thermal Shock Appli- specimens in the frames which are sup-
a comparable number of the standard for cations: 8 h UV at an irradiance of 0.77 plied with the cabinet with the test sur-
comparison should be used as required to W/m2 @ 340 nm at 60°C; followed by faces facing the lamp. When the test
ensure accuracy. It is recommended that 0.25 h water spray; followed by 3.75 h specimens do not completely fill the
at least three replicates of each material condensation at 50°C. This option has racks, the empty spaces must be filled
evaluated be exposed in each test to allow been used for architectural and other ap- with blank panels to maintain the test
for statistical evaluation of results. plications where thermal shock may be conditions within the chamber.
Expose a sufficient number of speci- an issue. 10.3.1 To provide rigidity, flexible
mens so that the expected test result is not 8.2.3 Option 3, Automotive Exterior: 8 specimens may be attached to a backing
more than 5% of the average above or be- h UV at an irradiance of 0.72 W/m2 @ panel made of aluminum or other noncor-
low the true average of the lot at the 95% 340 nm at 70°C followed by 4 h conden- rosive heat conductive material.
probability level. Determine the number sation at 50°C. UV irradiance may be 10.3.2 Holes in specimens and any
of specimens using standard deviation monitored and maintained by the manual openings larger than 1 mm around irregu-
with one-sided limits as directed in method or by the feed-back-loop method larly shaped specimens shall be sealed to
ASTM Practice D 2905. as described in SAE J2020. prevent loss of water vapor. Porous speci-
7.2 Specimen Dimensions. Certain ma- 8.3 The use of these cycles does not mens shall be backed with a vapor barrier
terials may exhibit a dimensional change imply, expressly or otherwise, an acceler- such as aluminum or plastic.

AATCC Technical Manual/2006 TM 186-2001 349

Copyright © 2005 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
10.3.3 Fabrics. Flexible fabric speci- and raveling or cutting the central portion
mens are mounted by simply wrapping of each exposed specimen to the dimen-
them around an aluminum blank and sions specified in the respective test pro-
clamping them into place with the spring cedure. Marking and raveling or cutting
ring clip. The specimens should present a of the test specimens is preferred after the
smooth face to the inside of the chamber exposure but may be done before expo-
(see Fig. 1). sure. Control specimens not exposed are
10.3.4 Yarns. Yarns should be wound similarly prepared and are wet-out and
on frames to a length of 150 mm mini- allowed to dry without tension before
mum. Only that portion of the yarns di- testing.
rectly facing the radiant energy is tested
for breaking (tensile) strength. Single 13. Evaluation of Results
strand or multiple strand testing may be Fig. 1—Typical mounting for
performed. When multiple strand testing 13.1 Changes in exposed test speci-
flexible fabric specimens. mens shall be evaluated or rated by ap-
is to be performed, the yarns are wound
on the frame closely packed to 25.4 mm plicable AATCC, ASTM or ISO test
width. The control specimens must con- methods.
tain the same number of strands as the and (2) sliding the remaining specimen 13.2 Physical Properties
specimen subjected to exposure. After holders to the right. 13.2.1 Ball Bursting Strength of Fab-
the exposure has been completed and be- rics. Determine the ball bursting strength
fore the yarns are unwound for testing, 11. Periods of Exposure of fabrics as directed in ASTM Test
those yarns facing the light source are Method D 3787, Test Method for Burst-
bound together by the use of 20 mm 11.1 Use one of the following methods ing Strength of Knitted Goods: Constant
masking or other suitable type tape to to determine the duration of the exposure: Rate of Traverse (CRT) Ball Burst Test.
maintain the closely packed arrange- 11.1.1 A specified number of total 13.2.2 Grab Tensile Test. Determine
ments on the exposure frame. hours. the grab tensile strength as directed in
11.1.2 The number of total hours of ex- ASTM D 5034, Test Method for Break-
10.3.5 In the case of woven, knitted posure required to produce an amount of ing Strength and elongation of Textile
and nonwoven fabrics ensure that the side
change in either the test specimen or an Fabrics (Grab Test).
directly exposed to the radiant source is agreed upon standard sample. 13.3 Color Change.
the one normally used as the face.
13.3.1 Evaluate the color change as di-
10.4 Program the device to achieve the rected in AATCC Method 16, Colorfast-
12. Conditioning
required test conditions and operate the ness to Light.
apparatus continuously within the limits 12.1 If the test and control samples are
specified above. Use test conditions spec- wet upon removal from the tester, dry 14. Report
ified in 8.2 or agreed to by mutual con- them at ambient laboratory conditions or
sent or as required by a product quality at a temperature not exceeding 71°C. 14.1 Report the following information
specification. 12.2 Condition the test and control on exposure conditions:
10.5 Operate continuously, repeating samples in the controlled atmosphere for 14.1.1 Manufacturer and model of flu-
the cycle, except for servicing the instru- testing textiles. Bring all specimens to orescent UV/condensation apparatus.
ment and inspection of specimens. In- moisture equilibrium. Equilibrium is con- 14.1.2 The manufacturer’s designation
spect specimens daily during the middle sidered to have been reached when the in- for the fluorescent UV lamp.
of a condensation cycle to make sure all crease in mass of the specimen in succes- 14.1.3 Exposure cycle, for example, 4 h
specimens are uniformly wetted. sive weighings made at intervals of not UV/60°C, 4 h CON/50°C.
10.6 To minimize any effects from less than 2 h does not exceed 0.1% of the 14.1.4 Total exposure time.
temperature or UV light variation, it is mass of the specimen. In general practice, 14.1.5 Total UV light exposure time.
recommended that specimens be reposi- the industry approaches equilibrium from 14.1.6 Any deviation from the expo-
tioned as shown in Fig. 2. Rotate samples the “As Received” side. sure test method
horizontally once each week by (1) mov- 12.3 For each test to be made on the 14.2 Report the following information
ing the two extreme right hand specimen material and control, exposed and unex- on the test specimen:
holders to the far left of the exposure area posed, prepare test specimens by marking 14.2.1 The type of fiber(s) of which the
material is composed, which side of the
fabric was exposed (in the event that the
fibers differ on the face and back of the
fabric), the fabric weight in g/m2 and the
nature of the fabric finish, if known.
14.3 Report the following information
on the evaluation:
14.3.1The evaluation method, rating and
relative data for each property evaluated.
14.3.2 The standard used for compara-
tive evaluation, if any.
14.3.3 Data. Average the data for the
various replicates, or handle statistically
as appropriate, and record a significant
value of breaking or bursting strength re-
tention and/or color change after expo-
sure in relation to original strength or
color as applicable. Report must contain
Fig. 2—Specimen rotation. as a minimum:

350 TM 186-2001 AATCC Technical Manual/2006

Copyright © 2005 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
(a) Arithmetic mean or average, Table III—Ball Burst after Exposure 16.2.1 ASTM D 123, Standard Termi-
(b) The number of tests, nology Relating to Textiles (see 17.4)
(c) Standard deviation or coefficient of Exposed Ball Burst 16.2.2 ASTM D 3787, Test Method for
variation. Sample Standard Bursting Strength of Knitted Goods:
Statement of a mean without the number Mean Variance Deviation Constant Rate of Traverse (CRT) Ball
of tests and precision is essentially use- 83 81 9 Burst Test (see 17.4).
less. 16.2.3 ASTM D 5034, Test Method for
95% Level
Breaking Strength and Elongation of
15. Precision and Bias Values in Critical Textile Fabrics (Grab Test) (see 17.4)
Average Standard Error Difference 16.3 The following SAE document is
15.1 Precision. 1 9.0 25.2 referenced:
15.1.1 Laboratory Study. In early 1999, 2 6.4 17.8 16.3.1 SAE J2020, Standard Test
a small study was done in a single labora- 3 5.2 14.6 Method for Accelerated Exposure of Au-
tory to get an estimate of intra-laboratory 4 4.5 12.6 tomotive Exterior Materials Using a Flu-
precision. One fabric (greige, #400 style 5 4.0 11.3 orescent UV and Condensation Appara-
cotton print cloth) was exposed under 10 2.8 08.0 tus (see 17.5).
conditions of this test method and values Control Ball Burst
determined for ∆E*ab, grab tensile after 17. Notes
Sample Standard
exposure, and ball burst after exposure. Mean Variance Deviation
15.1.2 Intra-Laboratory Precision. 17.1 Apparatus and lamps which conform to
Components of variance and within-labo- 87 55 7.4 this test method are available from the follow-
ratory precision shown as critical differ- ing companies: Q-Panel Lab Products, 26200
ences are given for each of these proper- First St., Cleveland OH 44145; tel: 440/835-
when differences are due only to chance 8700; fax: 440/835-8738; SDL Atlas L.L.C.,
ties, respectively, in Tables I, II and III. 1813A Associate Lane, Charlotte NC 28217;
15.1.3 For each of the properties noted, causes, the differences between test re- tel: 704/329-0911; fax: 704/329-0914; e-mail:
sults should not exceed the value shown; and Suga Test Instruments,
in 95 of the 100 comparisons. 5-4-14 Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo 160, Japan; tel: 81
15.1.4 Analysis of variance or t-tests (3) 3354 5248; fax: 81 (3) 3354-5275.
Table I—∆E*ab may be used to compare averages. See 17.2 The exposure chamber shall be a Fluo-
any standard statistical text for more in- rescent UV/Condensation Apparatus con-
Sample Standard formation. structed of corrosion-resistant materials
Mean Variance Deviation 15.2 Bias. enclosing eight fluorescent UV lamps, a
heated water pan, water spray system (op-
9.7 0.2 0.4 15.2.1 There is no referee test method tional), test specimen racks and provisions for
95% Level for determining definitive values to es- controlling and indicating operating times and
tablish bias in this test method. The test temperatures
Values in Critical method has no known bias. 17.3 Available from AATCC, P.O. Box
Average Standard Error Difference
12215, Research Triangle Park NC 27709; tel:
1 0.4 1.2 16. Referenced Documents 919/549-8141; fax: 919/549-8933; e-mail: or-
2 0.3 0.8
3 0.2 0.7 16.1 The following AATCC docu- 17.4 Available from ASTM 100 Barr Har-
4 0.2 0.6 ments are referenced: bor Dr., West Conshohocken PA 19428; tel:
5 0.2 0.5 16.1.1 Evaluation Procedure 6, Instru- 610/832-9500; fax: 610/832-9555.
6 0.2 0.5 mental Color Measurement (see 17.3). 17.5 Available from SAE International, 400
7 0.2 0.5 Commonwealth Dr., Warrendale PA 15098-
16.1.2 Test Method 16, Colorfastness 0001; tel: 412/776-4841.
8 0.2 0.4 to Light (see 17.3).
9 0.1 0.4 17.6 The limits of the spectral range of ul-
16.2 The following ASTM documents traviolet radiation are not well defined and
10 0.1 0.4
are referenced: may vary according to the user. Committee

Table II—Grab Tensile after Exposure

Exposed Grab
Sample Standard
Mean Variance Deviation
59 29 5.4
95% Level
Values in Critical
Average Standard Error Difference
1 5.4 15.1
2 3.8 10.4
3 3.1 8.7
4 2.7 7.5
5 2.4 6.7
10 1.7 4.8
Control Grab
Sample Standard
Mean Variance Deviation Fig. 3—Representative spectral power distribution,
75.2 6.6 2.6 UVA-340 fluorescent lamps

AATCC Technical Manual/2006 TM 186-2001 351

Copyright © 2005 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists
E-2.1.2 of CIE distinguishes in the spectral remote sensor attached to a black aluminum 17.11 Apparatus shall be located in an area
range between 400 and 100 nm: panel. The thermometer shall be precise to maintained at a temperature between 20°C
UV-A 315-400 nm ± 1°C through a range from 30-80°C and shall and 30°C. The room temperature shall be
UV-B 280-315 nm be positioned in the center of the exposure measured by thermometers mounted on inte-
UV-C 100-280 nm0 area so that the sensor is subject to the same rior walls or columns approximately 1500 mm
conditions as the specimens. above the floor level and at least 300 mm from
Unless otherwise specified, the lamps shall be 17.9 During UV exposure, the selected any heated apparatus. Three or more ther-
UV-A Type Fluorescent UV lamps with a equilibrium temperature shall be maintained mometers located at various points will show
peak emission at 343 nm and a spectral energy within ± 3°C by supplying heated air to the any temperature variation in the area.
distribution (SED) as shown in Fig. 3. test chamber. During condensation exposure, 17.11.1 It is recommended that the appara-
17.7 Condensation Mechanism. Water va- the selected equilibrium temperature shall be tus be located at least 300 mm from walls or
por shall be generated by heating a water pan maintained within ± 3°C by heating the water other apparatus. Nearby heat sources, such as
extending under the entire specimen mounting in the water pan. ovens or heated test apparatus, should be
area and containing a minimum water depth of 17.10 The test specimens shall be mounted avoided or shielded, because such heat
25 mm. Specimen racks and the test speci- in stationary racks with the plane of the test sources can reduce the cooling required for
mens themselves shall constitute the sidewalls surface facing the lamps and exposed within condensation.
of the chamber. The backside of the specimens an area 210 mm in height by 900 mm wide on 17.11.2 The room where the apparatus is lo-
shall be exposed to cooling effects of ambient each side of the apparatus located as shown in cated shall be ventilated to remove the heat
room air. The resulting heat transfer causes Fig. 4. It is possible to mount specimens and moisture produced and to maintain the
water to condense on the test surface. above, below, and beside the 210 × 900 mm temperatures specified above. Two to four air
17.7.1 The specimens are arranged so that area, but specimens so mounted will be ex- changes per hour will normally provide suffi-
condensate runs off the test surface by gravity posed to lower UV intensities. cient ventilation.
and is replaced by fresh condensate in a
continuous process. Vents along the bottom
of the test chamber shall be provided to
permit an exchange of ambient air and water
vapor to prevent oxygen depletion of the
17.7.2 Water supply with an automatic con-
trol to regulate the level in the water pan shall
be provided. Distilled, deionized or potable
tap water are equally acceptable for purposes
of the test, because the condensation process
itself distills water onto the test surface.
17.8 Specimen temperature shall be mea-
sured by a Black Panel Thermometer with a Fig. 4—Area of most uniform light intensity.

352 TM 186-2001 AATCC Technical Manual/2006

Copyright © 2005 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists