Automobiles need to survive some of the
harshest environments on earth.
Q-Lab is the world leader in weathering and corrosion test equipment and test services for the automotive industry. Cars and trucks are subject to the damaging forces of nature, including sunlight, heat, and moisture. The automotive industry represents a unique and complex mix of materials, which must meet stringent outdoor durability requirements in a highly cost conscious, rapidly changing market.
Will your automotive exterior and products last outdoors? Will your automotive interior products last in the unique conditions they will face? For how long? Do your new raw material suppliers have the same quality as your previous ones? Has something changed in your process that might affect the long term durability of your products? Don't guess when you can test.
Q-Lab serves automotive OEMs and all tiers of the supply chain, including the following segments:
- Coatings, including clear-coat base-coat systems
- Interior textiles and leathers
- Exterior trims and plastics
- Interior trims and plastics
- Wheels and suspensions
- Automotive lighting
- Graphic overlays
Coatings and plastics are regularly tested in the QUV accelerated weathering tester for quality control and R&D. It's realistic simulation of the short-wave UV portion of sunlight and realistic yet aggressive moisture functions have made it the world's most widely used weathering tester. For OEM acceptance, the Q-SUN xenon test chamber is the tester of choice because of its accurate simulation of full spectrum sunlight, relative humidity control, and versatile, easy-to-use flat specimen tray.
Q-Lab's accelerated weathering testers simulate the primary weathering conditions that degrade automotive exterior components outdoors and interior components in the harsh heat and light conditions of car and truck cabins, allowing our customers to accurately reproduce dozens of potential failure modes, including:
- Color change and fading
- Yellowing of polymers
- Peeling and delamination
- Gloss loss
- Loss of tensile strength
While accelerated weathering chambers are a key weapon in the fight against the forces of sunlight, heat, and moisture, nothing beats the real thing: outdoor testing in one of Q-Lab's benchmark outdoor testing facilities. In fact, outdoor testing is so important that automotive OEMs require it for a variety of systems. Direct exposures, under glass exposures, black box, and AIM box tracking exposures are used to simulate and accelerate the most important stressors of materials and systems used in cars and trucks. If you want to combine the benefits of outdoor and accelerated testing, the Q-TRAC Natural Sunlight Concentrator can provide five times the annual solar energy of an exposure in South Florida.
Automotive systems must also withstand the forces of corrosion, and the Q-FOG cyclic corrosion chamber is the perfect tool for recreating realistic outdoor corrosion conditions in the laboratory.
Many companies working in the automotive industry know Q-Lab as the manufacturer of Q-PANEL standard test substrates. Since 1956, the Q-PANEL name has stood for consistent, high quality substrates for testing coatings, sealants, and adhesives.
Automobile manufacturers perform outdoor testing in Florida because of the extremely hot, humid environment.
Excessive exposure to UV light can cause polycarbonate lenses to yellow.
Automotive components are often masked during exposure testing to give a true assessment of the damage caused by weathering.
Paint manufacturers in the auto industry often test on curved surfaces to more closely mimic their end use.
Testing complete assemblies often brings out unexpected failures that aren't found in individual parts.
Automotive steering wheel covers undergoing under-glass testing in Q-Lab Arizona.