The QUV ageing machine: foreseeing the future and making it better today



Foreseeing the future seems rather difficult, but it is not impossible. Nowadays, weare provided with machines which are capable of subjecting material to accelerated age testing in order to foresee how it reacts over time.

The damage to the material see alterations such as: a change of colour, loss of shine,
loss of resistance, cracks, delamination, rust; as well as chips and breakages with the product. Among the main causes of ageing, we find solar radiation (especially ultra-violet), high temperatures and humidity. The aforementioned humidity comes in many disguises, such as: rain, dew and very high levels of humidity.

Occasionally, the synergistic effect between solar light and humidity, can also cause damage to the material.

How does the QUV ageing machine work?

In order to study how the KrionTM solid Surface performs in such situations, we subject it to an accelerated ageing process in the C+C department in the company, by means of the QUV machine.

This ageing test chamber simulates the effects of sunlight, dew and rain; with alternative UV ray cycles and condensation. The materials are tested over a period of a few days or weeks, simulating the damage that would be caused to KrionTM over  months or years.

The fluorescent lamps reproduce short wave UV radiation,
that automatically maintains the intensity of the light through a feedback loop, which realistically produces the physical damage caused by sunlight. 

In relation to the condensation, this causes waterdrops on the compact mineral samples that are used in the tests, thus becoming the most valuable technique to simulate the humidity effect.  The water spray creates a thermal shock and accelerated erosion, by means of using a high temperature.

When displayed graphically, how do the KrionTM colours perform when up against deterioration due to outdoor exposure?

After numerous years of investigation and study, the technicians from KrionTMhave developed a series of algorithms which help perfectly in determining the level of wear and tear undergone by the material outdoors over time. As we have already seen, the wear and tear process comes from the previously described effects: light, humidity, and temperature; mostly effecting the organic part of the material, resulting in a change of tone. This change of colour, shown in units of  Dε, has been studied at great length in order to generate those calculations, as well as being able to establish smaller or greater levels of deterioration among the three categories: three suns, two suns and one sun, respectively.


☼       Colour change of over 10 Dε in 10 years

☼☼     Colour change of 5 Dε to 10 Dε in 10 years

☼☼☼   Colour change of less than 5 Dε in 10 years

Like so, it is scientifically tested regarding just how it affects KrionTM  overtime. With this valuable information, and through some empirical testing, technicians are studying the modifications that should be carried out on the mineral compact so that the wear and tear is the least possible without any changes to the material’s intrinsic properties.

This is a system in which the high technology is utilised to enhance the KrionTM  solid surface to producematerial which is more and more beneficial for the environment and those who live there.