Plastics

  • Overview +


    As the global leader in photodegradation and weathering testing instrument and service innovations, Atlas offers the most complete range of durability testing solutions for polymer and plastic materials and products.

    As one of the most widely used manmade materials, polymers and plastics span a diverse range of material chemistries and properties. As such, they can range from relatively short lifespans, such as packaging materials, to long lived severe service applications such as building materials.


    Also, most plastic products are formulated with various colorants and functional or performance enhancing additives. Because of these, polymer degradation chemistry and product weathering results can be highly specific to not only the service environment, base resin chemistry, compound formulation and processing, but also to the accuracy, uniformity, repeatability and reproducibility of the test exposure device. In particular, accelerated laboratory durability testing for demanding, high performance applications such as automotive requires high performance testing instruments to reliably predict service lifetimes or pass exacting specifications. Atlas lightfastness and weathering instruments lead the industry in testing performance and are frequently specified by name and model by OEMs, with many test methods having been specifically designed around their capabilities.

    Atlas provides a variety of outdoor natural and accelerated weathering exposures for material and product testing. In addition to benchmark test sites, Atlas can provide exposures through our Worldwide Exposure Network of over 20 affiliated test sites. Artificial weathering is performed at Atlas’ commercial labs in the US and Germany.

  • Atlas Solutions +


    Atlas provides the widest variety of natural and accelerated outdoor exposures for plastic test plaques, films, tensile bars, and manufactured products. These include:

    • Static outdoor rack exposures in a variety of climates. Atlas’ main outdoor test sites are in South Florida and the Arizona Sonoran desert in the USA, Chennai (India) and the Bandol region of France. In addition, Atlas has compiled the Worldwide Exposure Network of over 20 global sites to provide testing in a variety of climates and locations. 



    • Special test houses and fixtures for exposing building products in their end-use orientation

    • Accelerated outdoor solar tracking and concentration exposures. Atlas has approximately 525 EMMA and EMMAQUA (with water sprays) devices at our Arizona test site. Atlas offers several major versions:
    • - Standard, variable irradiance, and temperature controlled EMMA/EMMAQUA
      - Low Temperature LT-EMMA, LT-EMMAQUA uses special “cool mirror” technology to reject wavelengths >550nm for thermally labile materials
      - Ultra-accelerated UA-EMMA, UA/EMMAQUA which double the mirrors to twenty for higher irradiance, using “cool mirror” technology to reject wavelengths >550nm
      - Hybrid EMMA/EMMAQUA uses a combination of standard and cool mirror technologies to provide full spectrum solar with enhanced UV
      - Ultra-Accelerated Weathering System (UAWS) for high solar concentration research

    • IP/DP exposure boxes for automotive interior plastics

    • Xenon arc weathering and lightfastness instruments are considered the benchmark for laboratory accelerated artificial weathering. Atlas pioneered laboratory testing in 1915 and provides the widest selection of instruments to meet various customer needs in terms of performance and capacity.  Ci-Series, Xenotest and SUNTEST xenon arc accelerated artificial lightfastness/weathering instruments meet or exceed international standards. Commercial lab testing services are available at Atlas USA and Germany based laboratories.

    • UVTest fluorescent/condensation method for tests based on ASTM G154 and ISO 4892-3 SEPAP mercury lamp instrument for polymer photostability research studies

    •  Corrosion salt fog/spray instruments for testing metalized coatings on plastic
  • Testing Standards +


    Most testing is performed to international standards such as ASTM or ISO methods, OEM requirements, or specific trade group, professional society, or other standards development organizations (SDO). The following is only a partial list of applicable standards. Please contact Atlas for the requirements of a standard, or for consultation as to appropriate standards or custom methods to use for your testing needs.

    • AAMA 312, 5.0 Performance Requirements for the Lamination of Wood and Celluslosic Composite Profiles
    • ASTM D1003 Haze and Luminous Transmittance of Transparent Plastics
    • ASTM D1435 Outdoor Weathering of Plastics
    • ASTM D2565 Operating Xenon-Arc Type Light Exposure Apparatus With and Without Water for Exposure of Plastics
    • ASTM D3815 Accelerated Aging of Pressure Sensitive Tape by Carbon-Arc Exposure Apparatus
    • ASTM D4329 Operating Light- and Water-Exposure Apparatus (Fluorescent UV Condensation Type) for Exposure of Plastics
    • ASTM D4355 Deterioration of Geotextiles from Exposure to Ultraviolet Light and Water (Xenon-Arc Type Apparatus, except Section 9.5)
    • ASTM D4364 Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Plastics Using Concentrated Sunlight
    • ASTM D4459 Standard Practice for Xenon-Arc Exposure of Plastics Intended for Indoor Applications
    • ASTM D4674 Accelerated Testing for Color Stability of Plastics Exposed to Indoor Fluorescent
    • ASTM D4726 Standard Specifications for Rigid Poly (Vinyl Chloride) (PVC) Exterior Profile Extrusions Used for Assembled Windows and Doors (Section 7.1)
    • ASTM D5071 Standard Practice for Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics in a Xenon Arc Apparatus
    • ASTM D5105 Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes Using Concentrated Natural Sunlight
    • ASTM D7254 Standard Specification for Polypropylene (PP) Siding
    • ASTM D7793 Standard Specification for Insulated Vinyl Siding
    • ASTM D7856 Standard Specification for Color and Appearance Retention of Solid and Variegated Color Plastic Siding Products using CIELab Color Space
    • ASTM D7990 Standard Test Method for Using Reflectance Spectra to Produce an Index of Temperature Rise in Polymeric Siding
    • ASTM F2657 Standard Test Method for Outdoor Weathering Exposure of Cross Linked Polyethylene (PEX) Tubing
    • ASTM G147 Conditioning and Handling of Nonmetallic Materials for Natural and Artificial Weathering Tests
    • ASTM G151 Exposing Non-Metallic Materials in Accelerated Test Devices That Use Laboratory Light Sources
    • ASTM G152 Operating Open Flame Carbon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G153 Operating Enclosed Carbon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G154 Operating Fluorescent Light Apparatus of UV Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G155 Operating Xenon-Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials
    • ASTM G201 Conducting Exposures in Outdoor Glass-Covered Exposure Apparatus with Air Circulation
    • ASTM G24 Conducting Natural Light Exposures Under Glass
    • ASTM G7 Atmospheric Environmental Exposure Testing of Nonmetallic Materials 1
    • ASTM G90 Performing Accelerated Outdoor Weathering of Nonmetallic Materials Using Concentrated Natural Sunlight
    • CLP (Chrysler Laboratory Procedures) LP 463 KB 19 01 Outdoor Exposure Trim Materials
    • CLP (Chrysler Laboratory Procedures) LP-463-PB-16-01 Weather-O-Meter Test
    • CLP (Chrysler Laboratory Procedures) LP-463-PB-17-01 Fade-O-Meter Test
    • DIN 75220 Aging of Automotive Components in Solar Simulation Units
    • DIN EN 60068-2-5 Environmental testing – Part 2-5: Test Sa: Simulated solar radiation at ground level and guidance for solar radiation testing
    • DIN EN ISO 513 Unplasticized polyvinylchloride (PVC-U) profiles for the fabrication of windows and doors – Determination of the resistance to artificial weathering
    • Federal Aviation Administration FAA’s Aircraft Material Fire Test Handbook DOT/ FAA/AR-00/12, chapters 1.0 - 4.0 (FAR 25.853, 25.855, 25.1359).
    • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard FVMSS 302 Flammability of Interior Materials
    • FLTM (Ford Laboratory Test Methods) BI-160-01 Arizona Outdoor Exposure
    • FLTM (Ford Laboratory Test Methods) BO 101-01 Resistance to Artificial Weathering
    • FLTM B (Ford Laboratory Test Methods) BO 116-01 Exposure of Interior Trim Materials in a Controlled Irradiance Water-Cooled Xenon-Arc Apparatus
    • Ford BO 116-01 2007-08 Exposure of interior Trim Materials in a controlled irradiance water cooled Xenon-arc apparatus
    • GM 9125P Procedures for Laboratory Accelerated Exposure of Automotive Materials
    • GM 9163P, GMW 14873 Outdoor Weathering of Automotive Exterior Materials
    • GM 9327P2 Exterior Weatherability of Integrally Colored Plastics
    • GM 9538P Weathering Exposure Tests Interior Trim
    • GMW 14444 Section 3.3.3 – Material Related Interior Part Performance
    • GMW 3417 Natural Weathering Exposure Tests for Interior Trims/Materials
    • GMW14162 Colorfastness to Artificial Weathering
    • GMW14444 Section 4.4.2, Material Related Interior Part Performance
    • GMW3414 Artificial Weathering of Automotive Interior Trim Materials
    • HES D 6601 Accelerated test method for light resistance with xenon-arc lamp
    • ISO 105 A02 Color Fastness to Artificial Light
    • ISO 105 B01 Color Fastness to Light; Daylight
    • ISO 105 B03 Color Fastness to Weathering: Outdoor Exposure
    • ISO 105-B02 Color Fastness to Artificial Weathering
    • ISO 105-B04 Color Fastness to Artificial Weathering
    • ISO 105-B06 Color Fastness to Artificial Light at High Temperatures
    • ISO 16871 Outdoor Exposure of Plastic Pipes
    • ISO 4892-2 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Xenon-arc Lamps
    • ISO 4892-3 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Fluorescent UV Lamps
    • ISO 4892-4 Exposure to Laboratory Light Sources – Open Flame carbon-arc Lamps
    • ISO 877-1 Plastics-Methods of Exposure to Direct Weathering, to Weathering Using Glass-Filtered Daylight, and to Intensified Weathering by Daylight Using Fresnel Reflector
    • ISO 877-2 Direct weathering and exposure behind window glass
    • ISO 877-3 Intensified weathering using concentrated solar radiation
    • JIS (Japanese International Standards) JIS B7753 Light and Water Exposure Apparatus (Open-Flame Sunshine Carbon Arc Type)
    • JIS D0205 Weatherability for Automotive Parts (except Section 7.5)
    • Lighting and Window-Filtered Daylight
    • MIL 810G Solar Radiation (Sunshine) – Steady State for Prolonged Actinic Effects, Method 505.5, Procedure II
    • SAE J 1885 Accelerated exposure of automotive interior trim components using a controlled irradiance water cooled xenon-arc apparatus
    • SAE J 1960 Accelerated exposure of automotive exterior materials using a controlled irradiance water-cooled xenon arc apparatus
    • SAE J 2412 Accelerated exposure of automotive interior trim components using a controlled irradiance xenon-arc apparatus
    • SAE J 2527 Performance Based Standard for Accelerated exposure of automotive exterior materials using a controlled irradiance xenon-arc apparatus
    • SAE J1545 Instrumental Color Difference Measurement for Exterior Finishes, Textiles, and Colored Trim (A) (calculation for test results using ASTM E1331)
    • SAE J1767 Instrumental Color Difference Measurement of Colorfastness of Automotive Interior Trim Materials
    • SAE J1961 Accelerated Exposure of Automotive Exterior Materials Using a Solar Fresnel Reflector Apparatus
    • SAE J1976 Outdoor Weathering of Exterior Materials
    • SAE J575 (Section 4.8) Test Methods and Equipment for Lighting Devices for use on Vehicles less than 2032 mm in Overall Height
    • SAE J576 Plastic Materials for Use in Optical Parts Such as Lenses and Reflectors of Motor Vehicle Lighting Devices
    • TSL 0601 G 2008-01 Toyota Engineering Standard - Criteria for test for Quality of colour change by aging (method A, B + E)
    • TSL 3600 G 7.15 & 7.16 2008-05 Toyota Engineering Standard – Colour-fastness to high temperature and light (method A)
    • UL 94, the Standard for Safety of Flammability of Plastic Materials for Parts in Devices and Appliances testing
    • Volkswagen VW PV 1303 Exposure Test of Passenger Compartment Components
    • VSI (Vinyl Siding Institute) VSI Outdoor Weathering Practice Protocols for the Conduct of Outdoor Weathering Studies of Plastic Siding and Related Products
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