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Top 10 Xenon Weathering Standards You Should Know

Xenon Weathering Standards

Hundreds of Weathering Test Methods

The Atlas Standards Database lists more than 6000 documents from about 600 Standards Developing Organizations (SDO’s). If we exclude duplicate test methods published in different norms and obsolete versions, we still end up with several hundred different weathering and lightfastness test methods.

But how to determine the Top 10 out of these many?

Taking a systematic approach, we first exclude industry and company specifications. Our second filter, we then only focus on basic standards, which are referenced in material- or application-specific standards. And finally, we restrict to xenon-arc, the most advanced laboratory weathering light source.

Applying this approach, we suggest the following Top 10 xenon weathering standards you should know, as they are the most referenced and impacting the most markets.

Xenon Arc Weathering Standards List
                                              The hierarchy of standards

General Guidance

    1. ISO 4892-1 – Plastics - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 1: General guidance.

    2. ASTM G151 - Standard Practice for Exposing Nonmetallic Materials in Accelerated Test Devices that Use Laboratory Light Sources.

Both documents cover principles, technical requirements, and guidance for operating weathering instruments with different light sources. Especially helpful are the annexes of ASTM G151 and ISO 4892-1 on sample rotation, uniformity of parameters, requirements for Black Standard and Panel sensors, and factors that may decrease correlation between laboratory and outdoor tests.

    3. ASTM G155 - Standard Practice for Operating Xenon Arc Light Apparatus for Exposure of Non-Metallic Materials.

Although ASTM International is a US organization, standards are developed by international experts and are used in many countries. ASTM G155 provides general guidance for xenon weathering testing.

    4. CIE No. 241 - Recommended reference solar spectra for industrial applications.

Publication CIE No. 241 by the International Commission on Illumination (CIE = Commission Internationale de l'Éclairage) contains a benchmark spectrum for simulating worst-case solar irradiance in weathering instruments. In 2020, it replaced the previous version CIE No. 85 Table 4 which had served as weathering benchmark spectrum for 30 years.


    5. ISO 16474-2 - Paints and varnishes - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 2: Xenon-arc lamps.

This standard provides basic principles and guidance for xenon weathering of coatings. It includes several test options and is one of the most frequently referenced and used basic standards.

    6. ASTM D7869 - Standard Practice for Xenon Arc Exposure Test with Enhanced Light and Water Exposure for Transportation Coatings.

Developed by an industry consortium to reproduce Florida degradation, ASTM D7869 has already made its way into other applications than coatings. The most innovative component is the new Right Light filter system.


    7. ISO 4892-2 – Plastics - Methods of exposure to laboratory light sources - Part 2: Xenon-arc sources.

ISO 4892-2 is similar to ASTM D2565 (Xenon-Arc Exposure of Plastics for Outdoor Applications). It includes several different cycles and allows for high irradiance testing. ISO 4892-2 may be the most frequently referenced basic standard document for plastics applications.

Xenon Arc Weathering Suntest XXL+ Instrument
                                              Xenon test of artificial grass


    8. AATCC TM 16.3 - Colorfastness to Light: Xenon-Arc.

Test Method 16.3 of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists is used internationally and provides guidance for testing textile materials to colorfastness to light using xenon-arc weathering and lightfastness instruments.

    9. ISO 105-B02 - Textiles - Tests for colour fastness - Part B02: Colour fastness to artificial light: Xenon arc fading lamp test.

This is the major lightfastness testing standard, not only for textiles but also for other materials which are exposed to similar conditions. Examples are printed matter, artists paints, safety belts or photographic prints. It specifies cycles for different climate zones.

    10. ISO 105-B06 - Textiles - Tests for colour fastness - Part B06: Colour fastness and ageing to artificial light at high temperatures: Xenon arc fading lamp test.

This so-called “hot light fastness” test is mainly used for lightfastness testing of automotive interior materials. It includes 5 different sets of exposure conditions, all with high temperatures settings, to accommodate methods used in the automotive industry in different countries.

More Information

This is the first in a series of blog posts on weathering and lightfastness standards. Stay tuned.

Atlas offers several recorded seminars on standards-related topics, e.g. on

     • Material testing in automotive Interior and exterior applications.
     • Setup for common test methods.
     • Lightfastness and weathering testing of textiles.

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.