Nissan tests auto paint on darkest days of the year
A Nissan engineer uses an Ametek Atlas Ci-4000 Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool to simulate sunlight on paint samples.
Courtesy of Nissan

Nissan tests auto paint on darkest days of the year

Ametek Atlas Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool simulates sunshine for continuous coatings tests in a lab environment.

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December 24, 2018
Edited by Robert Schoenberger

Farmington Hills, Michigan – On the darkest day of the year Nissan engineers in Michigan are still performing sunlight ultraviolet (UV) exposure tests thanks to the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool made by Ametek subsidiary Atlas. The machine evaluates material durability in different climate conditions.

To evaluate the effects of solar energy on paint and other materials, a 4,000W Xenon bulb bakes nearly 100 samples at the same wavelengths as the sun. Samples rotate around the Xenon bulb to imitate earth's orbit – and because the sun can shine 24 hours a day, it takes half the time to test paint samples.

Engineers observe the material samples through a series of cycles to investigate changes and ensure top durability and quality for Nissan customers.

“In addition to rigorous real-world tests, this tool allows us to create harsh environments,” said Doug Prytula, technician, body and chassis testing, Nissan North America. "It is one more step we take to ensure Nissan's quality standards are second-to-none."

Nissan uses test environments such as the XWO accelerated weather chamber to replicate conditions that occur in a natural environment, right inside the lab. These test cells expose various types of material samples to a wide range of conditions that a vehicle may face throughout its lifecycle.