ASTM G151-09 - 1.7.2009
Significance and Use


When conducting exposures in devices that use laboratory light sources, it is important to consider how well the accelerated test conditions will reproduce property changes and failure modes associated with end-use environments for the materials being tested. In addition, it is essential to consider the effects of variability in both the accelerated test and outdoor exposures when setting up exposure experiments and when interpreting the results from accelerated exposure tests.

No laboratory exposure test can be specified as a total simulation of actual use conditions in outdoor environments. Results obtained from these laboratory accelerated exposures can be considered as representative of actual use exposures only when the degree of rank correlation has been established for the specific materials being tested and when the type of degradation is the same. The relative durability of materials in actual use conditions can be very different in different locations because of differences in UV radiation, time of wetness, relative humidity, temperature, pollutants, and other factors. Therefore, even if results from a specific exposure test conducted according to this practice are found to be useful for comparing the relative durability of materials exposed in a particular exterior environment, it cannot be assumed that they will be useful for determining relative durability of the same materials for a different environment.

Even though it is very tempting, calculation of an acceleration factor relating x h or megajoules of radiant exposure in a laboratory accelerated test to y months or years of exterior exposure is not recommended. These acceleration factors are not valid for several reasons.

Acceleration factors are material dependent and can be significantly different for each material and for different formulations of the same material.

Variability in the rate of degradation in both actual use and laboratory accelerated exposure test can have a significant effect on the calculated acceleration factor.

Acceleration factors calculated based on the ratio of irradiance between a laboratory light source and solar radiation, even when identical bandpasses are used, do not take into consideration the effects on a material of irradiance, temperature, moisture, and differences in spectral power distribution between the laboratory light source and solar radiation.

Note 4—If use of an acceleration factor is desired in spite of the warnings given in this practice, such acceleration factors for a particular material are only valid if they are based on data from a sufficient number of separate exterior and laboratory accelerated exposures so that results used to relate times to failure in each exposure can be analyzed using statistical methods. An example of a statistical analysis using multiple laboratory and exterior exposures to calculate an acceleration factor is described by J.A. Simms (1).

There are a number of factors that may decrease the degree of correlation between accelerated tests using laboratory light sources and exterior exposures. More specific information on how each factor may alter stability ranking of materials is given in Appendix X1.

Differences in the spectral distribution between the laboratory light source and solar radiation.

Light intensities higher than those experienced in actual use conditions.

Test conditions where specimens are exposed continuously to light when actual use conditions provide alternate periods of light and dark.

Specimen temperatures higher than those in actual conditions.

Exposure conditions that produce unrealistic temperature differences between light and dark colored specimens.

Exposure conditions that do not have any temperature cycling or that produce temperature cycling, or thermal shock, or both, that is not representative of use conditions.

Unrealistically high or low levels of moisture.

Absence of biological agents or pollutants.

Use of Accelerated Tests with Laboratory Light Sources:

Results from accelerated exposure tests conducted according to this standard are best used to compare the relative performance of materials. A common application is conducting a test to establish that the level of quality of different batches does not vary from a control material with known performance. Comparisons between materials are best made when they are tested at the same time in the same exposure device. Results can be expressed by comparing the exposure time or radiant exposure necessary to change a characteristic property to some specified level.

Reproducibility of test results between laboratories has been shown to be good when the stability of materials is evaluated in terms of performance ranking compared to other materials or to a control , ; therefore, exposure of a similar material of known performance (a control) at the same time as the test materials is strongly recommended.

In some applications, weathering reference materials are used to establish consistency of the operating conditions in an exposure test.

Reference materials, for example, blue wool test fabric, also may be used for the purpose of timing exposures. In some cases, a reference material is exposed at the same time as a test material and the exposure is conducted until there is a defined change in property of the reference material. The test material then is evaluated. In some cases, the results for the test material are compared to those for the reference material. These are inappropriate uses of reference materials when they are not sensitive to exposure stresses that produce failure in the test material or when the reference material is very sensitive to an exposure stress that has very little effect on the test material.

Note 5—Definitions for control and reference material that are appropriate to weathering tests are found in Terminology G 113.

Note 6—Practice G 156 describes procedures for selecting and characterizing weathering reference materials used to establish consistency of operating conditions in a laboratory accelerated test.

Note 7—Results from accelerated exposure tests should only be used to establish a pass/fail approval of materials after a specific time of exposure to a prescribed set of conditions when the variability in the exposure and property measurement procedure has been quantified so that statistically significant pass/fail judgments can be made.

1. Scope

1.1 This practice provides general procedures to be used when exposing nonmetallic materials in accelerated test devices that use laboratory light sources. Detailed information regarding procedures to be used for specific devices are found in standards describing the particular device being used. For example, detailed information covering exposures in devices that use open flame carbon arc, enclosed carbon arc, xenon arc and fluorescent UV light source are found in Practices G 152, G 153, and G 154, and G 155 respectively.

Note 1—Carbon-arc, xenon arc, and fluorescent UV exposures were also described in Practices 23, G 26, and G 53 which referred to very specific equipment designs. Practices G 152, G 153, and G 154, and G 155 are performance based standards that replace Practices G 23, G 26, and G 53.

1.2 This practice also describes general performance requirements for devices used for exposing nonmetallic materials to laboratory light sources. This information is intended primarily for producers of laboratory accelerated exposure devices.

1.3 This practice provides information on the use and interpretation of data from accelerated exposure tests. Specific information about methods for determining the property of a nonmetallic material before and after exposure are found in standards describing the method used to measure each property. Information regarding the reporting of results from exposure testing of plastic materials is described in Practice D 5870.

Note 2—Guide G 141 provides information for addressing variability in exposure testing of nonmetallic materials. Guide G 169 provides information for application of statistics to exposure test results

Note 3—This standard is technically equivalent to ISO 4892, Part 1.

1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

2. Referenced Documents


Practice for Operating Light-and Water-Exposure Apparatus (Fluorescent UV-Condensation Type) for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials

CIE Publication Number 85: 1989

Technical Report--Solar Spectral Irradiance Available from the Commission Internationale de LEclairage, CIE, Central Bureau, Kegelgasse 27, A-1030 Vienna, Austria or the U.S. National Committee for CIE, National Institute for Science and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD.

ISO 9370

Plastics: Instrumental Determination of Radiant Exposure in Weathering Tests--General Guidance and Basic Test Method














Practice for Conditioning and Testing Flexible Barrier Packaging


Terminology Relating To Conditioning

















SMARTS2, Simple Model for Atmospheric Transmission of Sunshine Available from ASTM International Headquarters. Order Adjunct No. . Original adjunct produced in 2005.


Practice for Operating Light-Exposure Apparatus (Xenon-Arc Type) With and Without Water for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials (Discontinued 2001)


Practice for Operating Light-Exposure Apparatus (Carbon-Arc Type) With and Without Water for Exposure of Nonmetallic Materials