Select Page


MIL-STD-810 Solar Radiation Compliance Testing Method 505

MIL-STD-810 solar radiation testing determines heating effects on materials. As a certified MIL-STD 810 testing lab, we realize the importance of MIL-STD-810 sunshine testing. We understand the challenges and guide companies through the process. Meeting the MIL-810 standard requirements can be difficult.

Keystone Compliance partners with customers to achieve MIL-STD-810 product compliance. Keystone provides the peace of mind that all of your needs will be met. When products do not meet the requirements, we assist with finding solutions. We have a reputation of helping customers achieve their MIL-STD product certifications. Our pricing is competitive and we offer volume discounts. Lastly, Keystone Compliance creates an accurate test plan to eliminate expensive over-testing. 

Request a quote to see why so many companies partner with Keystone Compliance. Have a question about MIL-STD-810 sunshine testing? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.

The Importance of MIL-STD Solar Radiation Compliance Testing

The Solar Radiation Method 505 has two main purposes. First, it determines the heating effect of solar radiation on material. Second, it identifies the actinic effects of exposure to solar radiation.

This MIL-810 test method is used to assess material likely to be exposed to solar radiation during its life cycle. This includes the open, hot climates, and when heating or actinic effects are of concern.

Procedure I determines the temperature increase (over ambient) of material caused by solar loading. In addition, MIL-STD-810 solar radiation test procedure I determines the heating effects for material enclosed within an outer container.

Procedure II mimics the ultraviolet effect of solar radiation at different locations and altitudes. This occurs by using various radiation sources that allow reasonable comparison to measurements of these natural solar radiation conditions.

How MIL-810 Sunshine Test Affects Products

Heating effects of solar radiation differ from those military testing of high air temperature. Solar radiation generates directional heating and thermal gradients. In the MIL-810 solar radiation test, the amount of heat absorbed or reflected mostly depends on the absorptive or reflective properties.

In addition to those identified in Method 501, high temperature testing, consider the following problems to help determine if solar radiation lab testing is fitting for the material being tested. This list for the sunshine compliance lab testing is not intended to be all-inclusive.

  • Jamming or loosening of moving parts.
  • Weakening of solder joints and glued parts.
  • Changes in strength and elasticity.
  • Loss of calibration or malfunction of linkage devices.
  • Loss of seal integrity.
  • Changes in characteristics of elastomers and polymers.
  • Premature actuation of electrical contacts.
  • Changes in electrical or electronic components.
  • Softening of potting compounds.
  • Pressure variations.
  • Sweating of composite materials and explosives.

Certain decline from solar energy may be due to other portions of the spectrum. Particularly the ultraviolet spectrum. The following are examples of decay caused by actinic effects. The military standards test list is not intended to be comprehensive.

  • Fading of fabric and plastic color
  • Checking, chalking and fading of paints
  • Decay of natural and synthetic elastomers and polymers through photochemical reactions initiated by shorter wavelength radiation.

Information on the Sunshine Method 505 810-Test

When selecting test method 505, sunshine testing procedures, consider these six main points:

  • The operational purpose of the test item.
  • Anticipated areas of deployment.
  • The test item configuration.
  • The anticipated exposure circumstances.
  • The expected duration of exposure to solar radiation.
  • The expected problem areas within the test item.

While both environmental testing procedures involve exposing test items to simulated solar radiation, they differ by the timing and level of solar loads.

Procedure I Cycling (heating and/or minimal actinic effects) – Procedure I further reviews response temperatures. These temperatures are exposed in the open, hot climates. Thus, they are expected to perform without degradation during and after exposure.

It is preferable to use the solar radiation test when the material could be affected by differential heating. It can also be used when the levels or mechanisms of heating caused by solar radiation are unknown.

Procedure I notes to expose a MIL-STD-810 standard test item to continuous 24-hour cycles within a military testing lab. These cycles must be controlled by simulated solar radiation. The goal of this test method 505 solar radiation test is to establish the highest temperature that the test item will reach. It is recommended a minimum of three repeated cycles.

Procedure IISteady State (actinic effects) – Procedure II reviews the effects on material of long periods of exposure to sunshine. Actinic effects usually do not occur until the item has received large amounts of sunlight. Thus, long cyclical levels of solar radiation will be inefficient.

The approach is to use an accelerated test. This test is designed to reduce the time to reproduce cumulative effects of long periods of exposure.

The MIL-STD 810 Sunshine test recommends ten 24-hour cycles for material that is occasionally used outdoors. I.e: portable test items, etc. For materials always exposed to outdoor environmental conditions, recommend 56 24-hour cycles. The irradiance is never increased above the identified level.

Keystone Compliance Provides MIL-810 Solar Radiation Testing Services

In addition to MIL-STD-810 solar radiation testing, Keystone has a full scope of expertise including immersion, rain, freeze-thaw, and fungus. Keystone has a full lab of test equipment which permits us to provide short lead times on scheduling. 

Our team strives to give our customers more time and energy on product development instead of testing. 

Have a question about sunshine testing or our military standard testing lab? Contact us or call (724) 657-9940 and we will determine the best course of action.