As part of its ongoing product development Glidecoat uses an external independent laboratory to perform what is called ASTM D4587 or Accelerated Weathering which simulates damaging effects of long term outdoor exposure of materials and coatings.
The ability of a coating to resist deterioration of its physical and optical properties caused by exposure to light, heat, and water can be very significant. This type of testing is intended to induce property changes associated with end-use conditions, including the effects of sunlight, moisture, and heat, all of which are key factors impacting boats of all kinds.
The effect is being measured by exposing test samples of fiberglass/gelcoat to varying conditions of the most aggressive components of weathering – ultraviolet radiation, moisture and heat.
The lab uses a QUV test chamber which uses fluorescent lamps to provide a radiation spectrum centered in the ultraviolet wavelengths. Moisture is provided by forced condensation, and temperature is controlled by heaters.
As part of the test process Glidecoat submits a control sample which has no coating whatsoever, as well as samples coated with Glidecoat’s Top Coating and competitive coatings as well.
The samples are then subjected to a cycle of exposure to intense ultraviolet radiation followed by moisture exposure by condensation. These cycles are 8 hours UV exposure at 70° C followed by 4 hours of condensation at 50° C. These cycles are then continued for 500 hours simulating even longer periods of time in the real world. Note 500 hours is equivalent to a year in South Florida.
In recent testing (Dec. 2016) The control sample using a 60 Degree Gloss measurement tested at 58.1 prior to the test and 48.4 after. Glidecoat’s Top Coating product when applied to a similar sample, tested 87.4 before and 75.2 after.
This clearly shows that 1. Glidecoat significantly improved the gloss and shine of the test sample versus the control sample and 2. The UV protection and gloss and shine were 50% better after the test than the control sample.
No direct correlation can be made between accelerated weathering duration and actual outdoor exposure duration. However, performance comparisons under the controlled conditions of accelerated weathering can be compared to documented performance of materials and coatings that have experienced extended periods of end use exposure.