Graphic Arts

  • Overview +

    We’ve all seen that faded travel poster with the sickly green sky and sea in the agent’s window and thought “how uninviting”. But the same can be true for faded or discolored product packages on the store shelves. But extended further, unreadable road and traffic signs, or warning safety labels can be dangerous.

    Atlas pioneered laboratory lightfastness testing in 1915, and today offers the broadest selection of testing equipment and services to determine the durability of printed goods, whether for short term indoor or protected outdoor use, or fully exposed to sunlight and the elements of weather for long periods.

    Common graphics that face lightfastness or weatherability issues include such items as”
    • Restaurant menus
    • Backlit advertising signs
    • Vending machine graphics
    • Outdoor advertising billboards
    • Banknote currency
    • Home and commercial inkjet prints
    • Printed paper and cardboard packaging
    • Flexographic package printer
    • Vehicle advertising wraps
    • Safety and informational nameplates

  • Atlas Solutions +

    Lightfastness testing for indoor and protected outdoor locations is typically performed with laboratory xenon arc instruments, with or without controlled humidity. This may be to either full spectrum or window glass filtered daylight, or, in some instances, to artificial store light. These can be met with most SUNTEST, Ci-Series or Xenotest instruments. The benchtop SUNTEST CPS+ and XLS+ models, and larger XXL+ model, are particularly well suited for graphic arts product testing for lightfastness, with the XXL+ also performing outdoor weathering tests. The larger Xenotest and Ci-Series fading and weathering testing instruments are typically used for larger volume testing, especially for durable graphic products such as outdoor identification and safety labels, exterior informational and advertising signage, traffic control signs, etc. Weathering testing additionally exposes test specimens to heat and moisture along with solar radiation. Water sprays are also typically included in the exposure. Testing printed goods such as brochures, photographic prints and packaging to our indoor Store Light artificial lighting simulation is another option.

    Lightfastness testing can also be performed in outdoor exposures performed with the test specimens exposed to sunlight filtered through window glass, known as indirect weathering. Test specimens can also be directly exposed to sunlight and the other outdoor weather factors. Atlas can also provide laboratory and outdoor exposure testing and evaluation services such as visual or instrumental color change.
  • Testing Standards +

    • ASTM D3424 - Standard Test Methods for Evaluating the Relative Lightfastness and Weatherability of Printed Matter
    • ISO 12040 Graphic technology -- Prints and printing inks -- Assessment of light fastness using filtered xenon arc light
    • ASTM G151 Standard Practice for Exposing Nonmetallic Materials in Accelerated Test Devices that Use Laboratory Light Sources
    • ASTM G155 Standard Practice for Operating Xenon Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Non-Metallic Materials
    • ISO 10977 Photography - Processed photographic colour films and paper prints - Methods for measuring image stability
    • ISO 4892-1 Plastics - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 1: General guidance
    • ISO 4892-2 Plastics - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 2: Xenon-arc sources
  • Education and Training +

  • Downloads +

  • Videos +

  • Recorded Online Seminars +

    Textile Testing - Colorfastness to Light - Atlas Online Seminar