The influence of both radiation and temperature on the ageing of polymers is discussed. With the purpose of improving the reliability of test results gained in accelerated weathering devices, it is recommended to measure the effective irradiance Eeff = ∫Eλ s(λ) dλ (Eλ: spectral irradiance, s(λ): spectral sensitivity of the material) and the effective radiant exposure Heff =∫Eeff dt. The temperature of the irradiated sample, among others, depends on both the spectral distribution Eλ of solar radiation and on the absorptance ε(λ) of the material as well as on the longwave infrared radiation of the environment. These influencing factors have to be observed when simulating environmental factors in laboratory devices. As an example, the testing of big component parts and entire vehicles is discussed.
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