Skip to content

Top 10 Outdoor Weathering Standards You Should Know

Atlas Outdoor Weathering Plant Miami
Outdoor weathering racks in Miami, Florida.

In a recent post, we presented our Top 10 xenon weathering standards.

Let’s now apply a similar systematic approach and exclude industry and company test methods as well as material and product specifications from the plethora of outdoor weathering testing standards. As the result, we suggest the following 10 most frequently used and referenced standards.

General Guidance

1)    ISO 877-1 – Plastics - Methods of exposure to solar radiation - Part 1: General guidance.

Part 1 of the international standard series ISO 877 provides information and general guidance on the selection and use of the methods described in detail in parts 2 (general static weathering) and 3 (natural accelerated weathering). It is applicable to plastics materials and products. ISO 877-1 also specifies methods for determining radiant exposure.

Direct and Behind Glass Exposure

2)    ASTM G7 - Atmospheric environmental exposure testing of nonmetallic materials.

General practice ASTM G7 covers procedures to be followed and provides guidance for testing materials exposed to direct natural sunlight, including black box exposures.

Atlas Weathering Blog Open backed sample racks
Open backed sample racks for direct natural weathering.

3)    ISO 2810 - Paints and varnishes - Natural weathering of coatings - Exposure and assessment.

This standard specifies conditions and requirements for direct weathering and weathering behind window glass of coatings.

4)    ASTM D4141 A - Standard Practice for conducting black box and solar concentrating exposures of coatings.

ASTM D4141 A, as well as ASTM G7, describes special test fixtures of specimens on top of a black box, which simulate higher end-use temperatures in some applications.

Atlas Weathering Blog Under glass black box
Black Box Under Glass exposure in Miami, Florida.

5)    ISO 105-B03 - Colour fastness to weathering – Outdoor exposure.

Direct natural exposure as well as behind window glass testing of textile materials is covered by ISO 105-B03.

6)    ASTM G24 - Standard Practice for conducting exposures to daylight filtered through glass.

7)    ISO 877-2 - Plastics - Methods of exposure to solar radiation - Part 2: Direct and behind window glass.

Both standards evaluate the resistance of nonmetallic materials to solar radiation filtered through glass in passively ventilated and non-vented enclosures. ISO 877-2 also covers Black Box exposures.

Tracking the Sun

There are several outdoor exposure methods that track the sun for more radiant exposure. A key technology for automotive interior materials is the IP/DP (= Instrument Panels and Door Panels) box, introduced by General Motors and standardized in GM 9538P - Weathering Exposure Tests for Interior Trims. The relevant consensus-based standard is ASTM G201:

8)    ASTM G201 - Standard Practice for conducting exposures in outdoor glass-covered exposure apparatus with air circulation.

Atlas Outdoor Weathering DP Box
IP/DP Box for testing automotive interior materials.

Concentrating Mirrors

9)    ASTM G90 - Accelerated outdoor weathering of nonmetallic materials using concentrated natural sunlight.

10)    ISO 877-3 - Plastics - Methods of exposure to solar radiation - Part 3: Intensified weathering using concentrated solar radiation.

Both documents specify a very popular accelerated outdoor weathering technology. EMMAQUA® instruments use mirrors in a Fresnel geometry to concentrate sunlight on an actively cooled specimen plane.

“EMMA®” means Equatorial Mount with Mirrors for Acceleration. The Latin “Aqua” refers to water spray.

EMMAQUA devices at DSET in Phoenix, Arizona.
EMMAQUA devices at DSET in Phoenix, Arizona.

More Information

This post is the second in a series listing the most frequently used weathering and lightfastness standards.

Atlas offers several recorded online seminars and technical guides on standards-related topics, e.g.

 •   Online Seminar: Accelerated outdoor weathering with EMMAQUA.
 •   Online Seminar: Material testing in automotive Interior and exterior applications.
 •   Technical Guide: Setting up common test methods.
 •   Online Seminar: Lightfastness and weathering testing of textiles.
 •   Technical Guide: Natural weathering testing.

For more information and a deeper dive into weathering and lightfastness technology and applications, have a look into our online library.

Click here for recorded online seminars or upcoming live educational classes.