Atlas Weathering Services Group aims to shorten the amount of time auto makers spend testing the durability of materials used in vehicles with four new temperature-controlled, outdoor, accelerated-testing services: Static, Night, Dynamic and Variable Irradiance programs.

Atlas' Equatorial Mount with Mirrors for Acceleration, with or without Water (EMMA/EMMAQUA) accelerated-weathering services provide increased light and radiation to accelerate the effects of natural aging that automotive materials and finishes experience.

The controlled testing procedures can be used independently or in concert and allow for faster, more accurate evaluations, which could reduce development time of new-vehicle components and materials by as much as 10%-15%, the company says.

Atlas' 500-machine EMMAQUA field in Phoenix benefits from a hot and arid desert climate along with low humidity and plenty of direct sunlight, which provides the perfect torture environment for exterior components and finishes.

The evaluation involves putting samples onto the EMMAQUA machine and bombarding them with the reflective energy of the sun through 10 adjustable mirrors, which equals the light of eight suns. The entire machine swivels and rotates to maintain constant direct sunlight, while heaters, fans, water sprayers and timers control temperature and humidity.