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Weathering Testing Standards for Automotive Applications

Blog Automotive Standards IPDPboxes
IP/DP Box for testing automotive interior materials

The automobile is probably one of the most tested products you can find: it must be tested as a whole vehicle for crash safety, fuel consumption, solar heat load, and driving performance. Its exterior parts and coatings are affected by weather, snow, salt, bird droppings, and stone chipping. The interior can get extremely hot, materials may delaminate, fade, or emit volatile organic compounds. Electronic components, displays and sensors can fail, and so on ...

Weathering Test Methods for Vehicles

From a weathering perspective, there are many different industry standards and OEM specifications in use. Those can be divided into three main applications:
 •  Automotive exterior: coatings on metal or plastics, glazing, components
 •  Vehicle interior: materials and components
 •  Complete cars

Well known examples of industry standards are ISO 105-B06, VDA 75202, SAE J2412, and JASO M346 for interior, ASTM D7869, ISO 16474-2, and SAE J2527 for exterior applications, and DIN 75220 for large scale component testing. For a detailed overview click here.

Laboratory and outdoor test methods are available for both interior and exterior applications. Complete vehicles and components such as instrument panels, airbags, or wheels are tested in benchmark outdoor climate locations, but in solar environmental chambers as well.

Blog Automotive Standards Ci5000
Atlas Ci5000 -The largest and most widely used xenon instrument for car paints

Modern automobiles utilize a vast and diverse range of materials and components which include:
 •  multi-layer paints on metal and plastic substrates,
 •  plastics, foils, foams,
 •  glass and transparent polymers,
 •  technical textiles, leather, wood,
 •  electronics, cables, sensors, displays,
 •  lamp assemblies, airbags, batteries,
and many more.

Testing Programs and Strategies

Automotive OEM test specifications systematically differentiate between different “zones” inside and outside the vehicle. For example, dashboards receive more sunlight than floor mats. In addition, different car manufacturers have different testing and approval philosophies.

Blog Automotive Standards Table

Selection of important weathering methods for automotive applications

Material, component, and full vehicle testing for new and known materials must be integrated into comprehensive test programs. These programs also include “non-weathering” tests (e.g., stone chipping, corrosion, exhaust emissions, windshield de-icing), but weathering usually takes the longest to produce results. Finally, the overall testing strategy must also support the three to four year development cycle for a new car, minimizing the risk of failure at market launch.

Blog Automotive Standards Weathering Test Program
A typical automotive weathering testing strategy (ATCAE Oxford, 2008)

More Information

These considerations make it clear that many different test standards are used in the automotive industry. To get an overview and learn how to choose and implement the right methods for your application, Atlas offers several recorded online seminars and technical guides, e.g.
•  Weathering and Lightfastness Test Methods for Automotive Interior and Exterior Applications.

Online Seminar: Material testing in automotive Interior and exterior applications.

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

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