polymers used in plastic materials are susceptible to substantial degradation
caused by sunlight, in particular the ultraviolet segment of the light spectrum.
radiation is commonly divided into various regions or bands on the basis of light
wavelength. UV Ultraviolet radiation is that part of the electromagnetic spectrum
with wavelength between 100 and 400 nm.
Plastic materials used outdoor are
fully exposed to the UV radiation generated by the sun, present even on cloudy
days. When ultraviolet attack occurs the material may have a color shift, become
brittle and chalky on its surface, crack. This can happen in a very short time
and have negative, unpredictable and even dangerous effects on your application.
the risk that your plastic material is subject to quick UV degradation
ask for quality plastic materials made with polymers properly treated to strongly
reduce UV degradation. Plastic UV resistance is not visible and therefore has
to be guaranteed by your manufacturer. We supply high quality UV treated plastics
for all our products studied for outdoor use.
the UV exposure in your particular region
Plastic UV resistance, if generically
expressed in years, is meaningless.
In the world of professional applications
plastic life depends on the total amount of UV radiation your material is exposed
to. This is changing from one geographical region to another as solar radiation
is unevenly distributed throughout the world because of such variables as solar
altitude, which is associated with latitude and season, and atmospheric conditions,
which are determined by cloud coverage and degree of pollution. Furthermore the
total solar radiation received at ground level consists also of different components
such as direct and indirect radiation (scattered, diffused, or reflected).
World maps illustrating the isolines of the mean global solar radiation (both
direct and diffuse radiations) have been developed using data provided by satellites.
Download our Radiation Map and determine the average radiation
level in your region, commonly expressed in kilo Langley per year (kLy/yr).
For example in most Northern Europe the average radiation level is 80-100 Kly/year
as it can be seen on our Map.
for your product UV resistance factor
We provide, for all products where
this measure is applicable, a UV resistance factor, expressed as total radiation
for the minimum product lifetime. For example if your product is rated 500 kLy/yr
and you will use it outdoor in Northern Europe, assuming radiation is at a level
of maximum 100 kLy/yr, your product will have a UV life of minimum 500 / 100 =
does UV resistance relates to other measures of radiation power?
as unit of measure for radiation power takes its name from NASA Langley Research
Center which studies the impact of sun radiation on Earth.
1 kLy = 1
kcal/cm2 = 41.84 MJ/m2
kLy/yr = 1.33 W/m2