ASTM International has recently announced the publication of ASTM G224, Standard Practice for Operating UVC Lamp Apparatus for Exposure of Materials. This is the first international standard to outline the basic principles for operating test instruments to evaluate the durability of materials exposed to UVC light. Q-Lab led the development of this standard, which provides users a comprehensive reference for conducting UVC exposure laboratory testing.
The team responsible for developing the standard was led by Sean Fowler, Senior Technical Director at Q-Lab. This work was a collaborative effort under ASTM G03.03, the Simulated and Controlled Exposure Tests subcommittee of ASTM’s Weathering and Durability committee. Q-Lab President and COO Brad Reis was recently named Chair of the G03.03 subcommittee, and was deeply involved in the standard’s development and approval process. Other collaborative members included Atlas Material Testing, Solar Light Co., UL, Sabic Innovative Plastics, and many others.
About the new standard, Fowler says, “One of the big problems the new standard addresses is that exposures using customized, one-off test devices generally lack good UVC measurement and control. Without an international standard, it is difficult for a laboratory quality system to identify the kinds of gross UVC measurement errors that have been observed in some studies. Because G224 includes test cycles with specific irradiance levels, UVC calibration traceability chains and interlaboratory comparisons have a better chance to identify sources of measurement error and correct them.”
The Covid-19 pandemic led to significant international interest in testing materials’ resistance to UVC light, which is used in germicidal treatments to inactivate viruses. Until now, users have lacked unified direction on how to conduct durability testing. ASTM G224 provides clear information on apparatus, specimens, and exposure conditions, drawing from previous work as well as research conducted by Q-Lab and others over the past several years. For more information about UVC testing, view some of our research on the topic at q-lab.com/UVC.