UV Accelerated Weather Testing for Cables

Accelerated weathering is a laboratory technique for the fast reproduction of the damage that sunlight and moisture cause over time on outdoor exposed materials. Accelerated weathering testing for Plastics and Polymers is necessary to ensure that materials and products meet their expected functionality and lifetime.

To simulate outdoor weathering, an accelerated weathering test exposes materials to alternating cycles of UV light and moisture at controlled, elevated temperatures. It simulates the effects of sunlight using special fluorescent UV lamps and the effects of dew with condensing humidity. 

The test is also sometimes referred to as UV stability testing.

No direct correlation can be made between accelerated weathering duration and actual outdoor exposure duration. However, performance comparisons under the controlled conditions of accelerated weathering can be compared to documented performance of materials and coatings that have experienced extended periods of end use exposure.

Typically, flat plaques or disks are used for accelerated weathering studies. The test methodology lays out that test samples are subjected to a cycle of exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation followed by moisture exposure by condensation. Various cycles (in number and length) are defined depending upon the intended end use application, these cycles would be continued for extended periods of time simulating even longer periods of time in the real world.

The resulting performance will give a clear indication of whether a cable is able to deliver the UV stability and performance after ageing and weathering that is expected of an external cable.

This is one of the tests that is performed on our PV photovoltaic cable, that is manufactured in accordance with the European standard EN 50618 and holds the harmonised designation H1Z2Z2-K.

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