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Before proceeding with a climatic test, it is extremely important to understand the scope of the test to be performed and the kind of material to be tested. After making sure of that, there are some precautions to have in mind and the settings of the climate chamber to be set.
In this specific case, we will focus on a climatic textiles testing.
Given the type of material, you should take into account, before starting the climate test, that we cannot run it before making sure that we are matching with an official procedure.
The ISO 139 standard regulates weathering textiles testing and clothing material.
It specificates that samples should be put in a normal environment (Standard Atmosphere) for a fixed time, according to the type of textile to be tested.
Climatic textiles test conditions
Before proceeding with a climatic textiles test, there are some conditions that the ISO 139 reference standard establishes, in order to have reliable final test results.
The standard lays down climatic conditions and the limits under which the sample must be tested. Often, textile testing laboratories perform part of the test with unreliable equipment.
The FDM climatic chambers, are designed to perform these tests all in only one environment.
The textile material weathering testing is completed within the climatic chamber. So it is not necessary to move the sample several times, risking to lose the final report reliability.
The Standard Atmosphere means fixing starting climate conditions under which the textile sample is exposed before proceeding with the actual test.
The environmental temperature to be set on the climatic chamber must be 20° C, while the relative humidity must be 65%.
The period of sample exposition to the standard atmosphere, is determinate the weather resistance in according to material type and is defined by the reference standard
During the testing process, the environment where the samples will be tested must not deviate from the ISO 139:2005 limits.
In fact, the temperature can vary to a maximum of ± 2°C, while the relative humidity to a maximum of ± 4%.
These two limits can be directly set from the chamber’s controller, that constantly monitors the two parameters, also thanks to sensitive temperature and humidity probes.
Final result tolerances
Even in case the test procedure is followed step by step, there will always be external agents that will affect test results.
According to the BRITISH STANDARDS – specifically the BS4194: 1967 norm – a climate textiles test allows two types of tolerances:
First of all, check the ambient temperature where the climatic chamber is located, and check if the operating temperature match the data declared by the manufacturer.
Prepare and check the calibration of the temperature and humidity recording probes (usually it is performed at least once a year).
Place the samples so that the air has access to all surfaces. Distribute the textyle surfaces, only one layer per shelf.
Begin the preconditioning procedure (the Standard Atmosphere). Usually a sufficient time for preconditioning is reached after four hours at 20 °C and at 65% relative humidity.
Unless otherwise specified, yarns, threads and similar materials have to be displayed in skein form.
The tests will take up to eight hours for the animal or viscous fibers and only two hours for the fibers with a recovery of less than 5% with a humidity of 65%.
Heavy fibers take more time.
If a fabric contains more than one type of fiber, then you should take into account a longer conditioning time (find the component that takes longer to condition and run the test in that period).
Final test report
Last step is preparing your test report.
The test report includes all processes, materials and procedures of the tests. It shows the conditions from each phase, so that you can understand why a material reacted in a certain way and make your inferences.