New NIST device helps building industry reach 'weathering' heights

November 08, 2002

Researchers at the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and their industry and government partners have cut the ribbon on a revolutionary device to determine quickly and accurately the damage to polymer coatings, materials and structures exposed to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, temperature and humidity. The new facility in NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory will help speed the introduction of new products into the market and reduce building repair costs.

To measure weathering, manufacturers currently either set their product in the sun and watch what happens or use an indoor weathering chamber. The outdoor method often requires multiyear iterations before a marketable product is developed. While laboratory testing is quicker, no one has been able to link field and laboratory exposure results, and neither approach is very repeatable or reproducible.

The NIST SPHERE, which can accommodate more than 500 samples, distributes UV radiation uniformly into as many as 32 specimen chambers with independently and precisely controlled temperature and humidity ensuring repeatability and reproducibility of test results. The device accelerates weathering by generating controlled temperature, humidity and UV exposure environments up to 50 times faster than outdoor weathering. Materials exposed to the SPHERE's UV light for one day receive the equivalent of 50 days of sunlight. The SPHERE is designed to allow rapid testing of the same material under a wide variety of weathering environments at the same time. For example, this device can generate exposures similar to a Texas summer dawn, a North Dakota winter night, a mid-summer Florida afternoon and a California sunset, plus up to 28 other environments all at the same time.

The National Association of Home Builders estimates that Americans spend between $65 billion and $75 billion annually on maintenance, repair and replacement, often due to the premature failure of a material exposed to outdoor weathering. The NIST SPHERE will make it possible for manufacturers to rapidly develop innovative products tailored for specific environments and will enable consumers to choose a product based not only on cost but also on its performance life.

Among NIST's partners with Cooperative Research and Development Agreements in this project: Atlas Electric Devices, DAP Products Inc., Degussa Construction Systems-Americas, Dow Corning, Sika Corporation, Solvay and Wacker. NIST's partners directly supporting this work include: Department of Housing and Urban Development/ Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing; U.S. Department of Agriculture/Forest Products Laboratory (Madison); Air Force Research Laboratory; Federal Highway Administration; and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.
-end-
The NIST SPHERE is the centerpiece of NIST's Service Life Prediction program to develop repeatable and reproducible methods for predicting the performance of construction materials. For further information, see http://slp.nist.gov/coatings/cslpmain.html.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Technology Administration, NIST develops and promotes measurements, standards and technology to enhance productivity, facilitate trade and improve the quality of life.

Website:http://slp.nist.gov/coatings/cslpmain.html

Video:http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/releases/weathering.htm

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Related Temperature Articles from Brightsurf:

History of temperature changes in the Universe revealed
How hot is the Universe today? How hot was it before?

A drop in temperature
In the nearly two centuries since German physician Carl Wunderlich established 98.6°F as the standard ''normal'' body temperature, it has been used by parents and doctors alike as the measure by which fevers -- and often the severity of illness -- have been assessed.

Kitchen temperature supercurrents from stacked 2D materials
A 'stack' of 2D materials could allow for supercurrents at ground-breakingly warm temperatures, easily achievable in the household kitchen.

Get diamonds, take temperature
Measuring the temperature of objects at a nanometer-scale has been a long challenge, especially in living biological samples, because of the lack of precise and reliable nanothermometers.

Chemical thermometers take temperature to the nanometric scale
Scientists from the Coordination Chemistry Laboratory and Laboratory for Analysis and Architecture of Systems, both of the CNRS, recently developed molecular films that can measure the operating temperature of electronic components on a nanometric scale.

How reliable are the reconstructions and models for past temperature changes?
Understanding of climate changes during the past millennia is crucial for the scientific attribution of the current warming and the accurate prediction of the future climate change.

New method measures temperature within 3D objects
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have made it possible to remotely determine the temperature beneath the surface of certain materials using a new technique they call depth thermography.

Who takes the temperature in our cells?
The conditions in the environment are subject to large fluctuations.

Taking the temperature of dark matter
Warm, cold, just right? Physicists at UC Davis are using gravitational lensing to take the temperature of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up about a quarter of our universe.

Thermal siphon effect: heat flows from low temperature to high temperature
In this work, researchers study (both thermal and electric) energy transport in physical networks that rewired from 2D regular lattices.

Read More: Temperature News and Temperature Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.