Automotive Interior Materials (AIM) Box

Aim box
AIM boxes recreate the same environmental conditions found inside an automotive interior.

Accelerated, Natural Results

AIM Boxes are under-glass enclosures that simulate the sunlight and heat found inside an automobile. These important environmental stressors result in color change, cracking, peeling, oxidation, or loss of strength of materials in car and truck interiors. AIM boxes can accelerate these stressors by tracking the sun throughout the day. AIM boxes are suitable for mounting large components like instrument panels, seat cushions, and steering wheels. Small, flat specimens can also be mounted to test samples like interior trim.

AIM box testing is highly affordable, and available at Q-Lab’s ISO 17025 accredited facilities in Florida and Arizona.

Realistic Simulation

Testing automotive interiors can be different from testing other materials because air temperatures inside a vehicle can far exceed the temperature outside it. Materials can reach 100°C or more in warmer climates. Furthermore, the light that reaches internal components is filtered by automotive glass, making it different from natural sunlight. This changes the light spectrum that must be tested for in order to achieve a realistic result.

The environment inside an AIM box is carefully controlled. A black-panel sensor monitors the temperature inside the box. At a pre-determined temperature set point, fans turn on to cool the specimens, creating a precise and realistic testing environment.

Some AIM boxes can perform precision azimuth tracking of the sun throughout the day. As a result, specimens are exposed to more solar radiation which results in faster tests without sacrificing accuracy.

Test Methods

AIM box testing from Q-Lab meets a variety of automotive industry test methods, a portion of which are shown below. Visit our Standards Page or contact Q-Lab for a more complete list.

  • GM 2617M, 3619M, 7454M, 7455M, 9538P
  • GMW 3417
  • Ford DVM 0020
  • ASTM G201

Different types of glass can be specified in order to meet different standards. 

Q-Lab conducts all exposure tests and evaluations in accordance with appropriate test methods from ASTM, ISO, BSI, DIN, JIS, SAE, and other recognized organizations, in accordance with ISO 17025.

Typical Test Times

Automotive Part Description Temp
Typical AZ Time
Instrument Panel (Upper Horizontal Surface) 102 100,000 6 to 7
Instrument Panel (Lower, Above Door Glass Line) 85 30,000 3 to 4
Trim Panel: Door/Quarter (Door Glass Line and Armrest) 85 50,000 5 to 6
Trim Panel: Door/Quarter (Lower; Vertical Surface) 85 5,000 < 1
Garnish Moldings (Pillar; Horizontal Surface) 93 75,000 7 to 8
Garnish Moldings (Pillar; Vertical Surface) 85 50,000 5 to 6
Garnish Moldings (Pillar; Above Door Glass Line, Vertical) 85 40,000 4 to 5
Garnish Moldings (Pillar; Below Door Glass Line, Vertical) 85 5,000 < 1
Seats/Head-Restraint (Rear Seat) 102 105,000 7 to 8
Seats/Head-Restraint (Front Seat) 93 40,000 4 to 5
Steering Wheel/Column Trim (Rim Upper Surface) 93 55,000 5 to 6
Steering Wheel/Column Trim (Horn Pad, Column & Shroud) 85 15,000 ~2
Consoles, Top 93 30,000 3 to 4
Consoles, Sides 85 10,000 1 to 2
Assist Handles and Overhead System Components 85 10,000 1 to 2
Rear Window Trim Panel 102 105,000 7 to 8
Open Rear Cargo Area, Vertical Glass, Components (At Sidewall)    93 50,000 5 to 6
Open Rear Cargo Area, Vertical Glass, Components (Floor Level) 85 15,000 ~2


AIM boxes produce real-world results in a fraction of the time of natural exposures. This means that new formulations or products can be brought to market faster, saving time and effort. Additionally, Q-Lab’s AIM box testing services are extremely affordable – programs start at less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day.

Contact us to start your test today!

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