Select Page

solar-radiation-testingAECTP Method 305 Solar Radiation Testing

AECTP 300 Method 305 evaluates the integrity of material when subjected to solar radiation. As an ISO-17025 accredited environmental compliance test lab, we realize the importance of AECTP method 305 solar radiation testing. Meeting the environmental AECTP climatic requirements can be difficult. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process. 

Keystone’s engineers take a consultative approach throughout the entire test program. When products do not meet the requirements, we assist with the troubleshooting process. 

Request a quote and find out first hand about our competitive pricing, timely process, and outstanding reputation. Have a question about our environmental compliance testing capabilities? Contact us to discuss the best course of action.

Summary of AECTP 300 Climatic Environmental Compliance Testing

The AECTP 300 standard is intended to be used in conjunction with four other AECTP test standards (AECTP 100, 200, 400, and 500). Furthermore, the AECTP standard provides advice for preparing environmental test specifications, plans, and procedures.

Additionally, AECTP 300 evaluates climatic environments. These environments can occur individually or in combination with other climatic or mechanical environments.

The AECTP 300 tests outlined provide exposure to simulated conditions from which a degree of confidence can be established. 

During testing, the configuration used for the selected test should be the actual configuration used within the unit’s life cycle. As a minimum, the following is considered: 

  • In the shipping/storage container or transit case.
  • Protected or unprotected.
  • In its normal operating and thermal configuration.
  • Modified with kits for special applications.

Any of the following will be classified as a failure:

  • A deviation of monitored functional parameter levels beyond acceptable limits.
  • Nonfulfillment of safety requirements or the development of safety hazards.
  • Nonfulfillment of specific test item requirements.
  • Changes to the test item that could prevent it from meeting its intended service life or maintenance requirements.

Scope of AECTP Method 305 Solar Radiation Compliance Testing

AECTP 305 solar radiation testing determines the actinic and heating effects of solar radiation on a material. More specifically, testing occurs when a material is exposed to sunshine during operation or during unsheltered storage at ground level.

This standard test method applies to material likely to be directly exposed to solar radiation. AECTP 305 is used when a close simulation of the spectral distribution of radiation is required.

In certain cases, solar radiation testing is used to establish realistic response temperature cycles on a single item in high-temperature tests.

On the other hand, AECTP 305 does not represent heating that occurs in enclosed area storage. Nor does this test consider all of the effects related to the natural environment.

Solar Radiation has two types of negative effects on material:

Actinic Effects

Certain portions of the solar spectrum cause the degradation of materials. The full spectrum is used to simulate these actinic effects. Some examples of deterioration include:

  • Deterioration of natural and synthetic materials
  • Fading of fabric color
  • Checking, chalking, and fading of paints

Heating Effects

Heating effects differ from high air temperature effects. The amount of heat absorbed or reflected depends on the roughness and color of the surface. In addition, changes in intensity may cause components to expand or contract at different rates. Other examples of heating effects include:

  • Jamming or loosening of moving parts
  • Weakening of solder joints or glued parts
  • Change in strength and elasticity
  • Loss of calibration or malfunction of linkage devices
  • Loss of seal integrity
  • Changes in electronic components
  • Premature actuation of electrical contacts
  • Fading of component color codes
  • Change in the properties of elastomers and polymers
  • Blistering and scaling of paints and other finishes
  • Softening of plastic materials
  • Pressure variations
  • Sweating of composite materials and explosives

AECTP 305 Solar Radiation Compliance Test Procedures

The AECTP 305 compliance standard provides 2 test procedures. Either procedure can be used to determine actinic effects.

Procedure I – Cycling: Thermal Effects

This procedure determines realistic response temperature cycles when the material must withstand the heat of exposure to an open, hot climate. During exposure, the material must still be expected to perform without degradation due to thermal effects.

First, the air temperature is brought to the minimum value of the temperature cycle. The text is conducted for a minimum of 3 cycles.

Next, operation checks are conducted at specified times.

At the end of the last cycle, the chamber is returned to ambient conditions. The unit is then returned to thermal equilibrium. Lastly, a visual examination is conducted.

Procedure II – Steady State: Actinic Effects

AECTP 305 Procedure II is used when long periods of exposure to sunshine will result in detrimental actinic effects. Note that the temperature of the test is representative of what it would experience under natural conditions.

Similar to Procedure I, the temperature is brought to a specified value. These conditions are maintained for 20 hours.

Next, the radiation is stopped for 4 hours while maintaining the temperature in the enclosure.

These steps are repeated until the number of cycles in the test program has been reached. If applicable, operational tests are performed.

Lastly, a thorough visual inspection and operational check are conducted. The data is then placed in a test report.

Expert AECTP 305 Solar Radiation Compliance Test Lab

In addition to AECTP climatic testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including fungus resistance, immersion, and freeze-thaw. Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing.

Ready to get started? We are. Contact us to see why so many companies work with Keystone each year to achieve their environmental standard test needs.

For more information on AECTP 300 testing, please follow the links below: