Paint Sample Testing with an Artificial Sun

AutoInformed.com on Nissan Xenon Weather-Ometer

Besides rigorous real-world tests, the tool creates harsh environments.

On the darkest day of the year Nissan engineers in Michigan are still performing sunlight UV exposure tests thanks to the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool that assesses durability in different climate conditions. Too bad it can’t be used for the State of Michigan.

To evaluate the effects of solar energy on paint and other materials, a 4,000-watt Xenon bulb bakes 100 samples at the same wavelengths as the sun. Samples rotate around the Xenon bulb to imitate earth’s orbit – and because the “sun can shine” 24 hours a day, it takes half the time to test paint samples. The material samples endure a series of cycles to study changes and ensure top durability and quality for Nissan customers.  

“In addition to rigorous real-world tests, this tool allows us to create harsh environments,” said Doug Prytula, technician, body and chassis testing, Nissan North America.

Nissan and other automakers use test environments like the XWO accelerated weather chamber to replicate conditions that occur in a natural environment. These test cells expose various types of material samples to a wide range of conditions that a vehicle may face throughout its lifecycle.

 

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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