Ozone Test Chambers

SATRA Ozone Test Chambers

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SATRA Ozone Test Chambers HTE 703 and HTE 903

A rubber component after 48 hours exposure to ozone in the SATRA test chamber – reproducing cracking observed on the products in service which were caused by ozone in the atmosphere.

SATRA designs, manufactures, commissions, services and calibrates ozone test chambers for a wide global market – including the USA, Germany, France, Scandinavia, China and Indonesia. But why are ozone test chambers required?

Ozone (O3) is a naturally-occurring constituent of the atmosphere and can also be man-made either deliberately or as a bi-product of another activity, such as by electric discharges from arc welding or sparks from electric motors. These man-made sources can contribute to significant increases in ozone concentrations in the working and living environment. Ozone is an unstable gas, readily decomposing into molecular oxygen (O2). The ability of ozone to readily yield up one of its oxygen atoms makes it a powerful oxidizing agent. This property contributes to ozone’s ability to degrade the properties of a range of materials.

Rubbers under strain are particularly vulnerable to attack from ozone. The rubber and automotive industries have long been aware of the potential damage to rubber components from ozone, (for instance, engine compartment hoses). These are subject to high temperatures and strain, in addition to operating in an ozone-rich environment because of the electrical components within the engine compartment. Over time, ozone can attack the rubber, causing surface cracks which can then propagate into a component failure. Rubbers need to be specified, verified and validated to avoid ozone cracking.

A SATRA automatic ozone test chamber allows an accelerated test of the effects of ozone to be conducted, by subjecting samples to a quantifiable high concentration of ozone generated by the test machine, while at the same time controlling the temperature, humidity and airflow. The ozone chamber allows for samples to be placed under load or subject to cyclic loading for the duration of the test to simulate operating conditions. Tests can be conducted against ASTM, BS or ISO test methods or specific manufacturers’ specifications. The ozone resistance of different rubber formulations or rubber products with design differences can be compared and product design and material specifications changed accordingly. In addition, ozone chamber testing can be used by a supplier to validate batches of material or components against a customer specification. SATRA has supplied ozone test chambers to a diverse range of rubber-related industries worldwide.

Another key market for SATRA’s ozone testing chambers is for ink manufacturers who need to quantify the resistance of their inks to fading or colour change over time due to exposure to low level atmospheric pollutants. Similarly, the effect of ozone attack on textile fabrics can be investigated using the accelerated ozone testing provided by the ozone test chamber.

The current SATRA ozone test chambers benefit from over 30 years’ experience of research, design and manufacture. The machines are built with a strong emphasis on safety, due to the toxic nature of the gas. An integral closed loop air-ozone system ensures that the ozone gas is contained internally, eliminating the need for external venting or filtering of spent gases. The controls and recording media are not only clear to read and set, but are also interlocked to the security door and purging program. Ozone is generated as required for the test by means of a UV lamp as ozone cannot be stored, being a highly unstable molecule.

To discuss how a SATRA ozone testing chamber could enhance your test capability, or to receive a detailed technical specification or quotation, please contact James Corton.

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