The Q-SUN Xenon Arc Test Chambers reproduces the damage caused by full-spectrum sunlight and rain. In a few days or weeks, the Q-SUN tester can reproduce the damage that occurs over months or years outdoors.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester is a full-featured lightfastness, colorfastness, and photostability chamber at a breakthrough price. It utilizes three separate xenon lamps for a large capacity. The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s slide out specimen tray is 451mm x 718mm and is useful for exposing large, three-dimensional parts or components. The Xe-3 tester offers standard humidity control, and optional spray, back spray and chiller features.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 is the only xenon arc tester that also has an optional dual spray capability. This allows for a second liquid such as acid rain or soap solutions, to be sprayed onto test specimens.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 is the simplest, most reliable, and easiest to use full-sized xenon arc chamber available.
A More Realistic Xenon
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s xenon arc lamps provide the best match to the full spectrum of sunlight. Near-horizontal specimen mounting and optional water and back spray provide the most realistic moisture simulation available in a xenon arc tester. The Xe-3 tester also is the only xenon test chamber to offer a dual spray option, allowing a second liquid (such as acid rain) to be sprayed onto test specimens. An optional chiller for low temperature applications also allows for simultaneous control of both black panel and chamber air temperature.
Easy To Use
The Q-SUN Xe-3 xenon test chamber is easy to install (proper ventilation required). It is easy to use and practically maintenance-free. Specimen mounting and evaluation is fast and easy with the unique slide-out specimen tray. The Xe-3 tester is completely automated and can operate continuously, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Other features include:
A product exposed outdoors to direct sunlight experiences maximum light intensity for only a few hours each day. The Q-SUN Xe-3 chamber can subject test specimens to the equivalent of noon summer sunlight for 24 hours a day, every day. Consequently, specimen degradation can be highly accelerated.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s low purchase price, low lamp prices and low operating costs create a breakthrough in the price/performance equation. Now even the smallest lab can afford xenon arc testing.
Models (see also Features Tab)
See LX-5046 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Specifications or the Features Tab for comparative information.
Full Spectrum Xenon Lamps
Xenon arc lamps give the best reproduction of full spectrum natural sunlight. Q-Lab’s lamps are air-cooled (not water-cooled), which makes them more economical, highly efficient and very low maintenance. Lamps last for 1500 hours and the Xe-3 uses three lamps per machine.
A choice of optical filters is available to simulate a variety of service environments including direct sunlight and sunlight through window glass. The performance of Q-Lab’s filters not decline with age; therefore, filters do not need to be replaced under normal operation. The only exception to this is the Window-IR filter, which requires regular replacement. All Q-SUN Xe-3 models use three optical filters per machine. See LX-5060 – A Choice of Filters for Q-SUN.
Temperature Monitoring & Control
Control of temperature is important because it influences the rate of degradation. Specimen exposure temperature is precisely controlled in the Q-SUN Xe-3 tester using a black panel temperature sensor. The temperature can be set at any point between 42ºC and 120ºC, depending upon: whether the sensor is insulated or uninsulated, irradiance level, filter type, lamp age and ambient room temperature. With an optional chiller, both black panel and chamber air temperature can be simultaneously controlled, giving the ultimate control of specimen temperature. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
Versatile Specimen Mounting
The flat specimen mounting tray in the Xe-3 accommodates different shapes and sizes of specimens, including three-dimensional parts. A variety of specimen holders are available. The Xe-3 mounting tray is 451mm x 718mm and holds up to 55 specimens @ 51mm x 102mm each. See our specimen mounting page, LX-5080-SM – Q-SUN Xe-1 & Xe-3 Specimen Mounting or Accessories Tab for more information.
SOLAR EYE Irradiance Control
The SOLAR EYE irradiance control system constantly monitors and controls lamp output. This assures precise light exposure and maximizes reproducibility of test results. Irradiance control is available at 340nm, 420nm or TUV (Total UV). See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
Relative humidity (RH) control is standard in the Q-SUN Xe-3 model. It allows the user to simultaneously control, monitor, and display RH, black panel temperature, and chamber air temperature. Note that purified water is required for proper operation of the Xe-3 with humidity control. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
Optional Water Spray (Models Xe-3-HS, Xe-3-DS, Xe-3-BS, Xe-3-HSC)
Outdoor moisture attack is simulated via a pure water spray option in the Xe-3 tester. Two spray nozzles are located in the top of the chamber. Spray can be programmed to operate during either the dark or light cycle. Note that purified water is required for proper operation of the Xe-3 with water spray. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
Optional Back Spray (Model Xe-3-BS)
Back spray is available for the Xe-3 tester and is required by some SAE test methods; it allows water to be sprayed on both the front and back of specimens simultaneously. Note that purified water is required for proper operation of the Xe-3 with back spray.
Optional Dual Spray (Model Xe-3-DS)
Dual spray is available for the Xe-3 tester. It allows a second liquid solution, such as acid rain or soap solution, to be sprayed onto test specimens. A large external reservoir, centrifugal pump and filter are attached to a portable cart that sits next to the Xe-3 tester. See LX-5025a – Acid Etch for Auto.
Optional Chiller for Low Temperature Applications (Model Xe-3-HSC)
For some interior products such as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, lower exposure temperatures are necessary to prevent unnatural degradation. An optional chiller is available for the Xe-3 tester to lower temperatures when testing such heat sensitive materials. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure. With a chiller, a Q-SUN Xe-3 tester can operate at 31-120ºC and 50% RH, depending upon sensor type, irradiance level, filter type, lamp age, and ambient room temperature and humidity. The Xe-3 chiller is designed to stand alongside the full-sized Xe-3 tester, and is provided with wheels for easy repositioning.
Controls & Optional Software
Designed to be both functional and easy to use, the Q-SUN Xe-3 controller can be programmed in five user-selectable languages (English, French, Spanish, Italian or German) and includes complete self-diagnostic error checking. The controller constantly monitors the status and performance of all systems. It also displays simple warning messages, routine service reminders or performs safety shutdown, as needed.
An external USB port on every Q-SUN Xe-3 tester allows users to perform software upgrades quickly to address key performance issues. For quality systems that require documented proof of test conditions, this USB port can also be used to download tester performance history. Additionally, every Q-SUN Xe-3 tester is equipped with an Ethernet connection. Optional VIRTUAL STRIPCHART PC software allows the user to automatically record and monitor exposure conditions and directly transfer data from the Q-SUN Xe-3 test chamber to a Windows-based computer. Data from either the USB export or PC application can be emailed directly to Q-Lab’s technical support desk for expert troubleshooting and diagnostics.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s xenon arc lamps produce the most realistic reproduction of full spectrum sunlight including ultraviolet, visible light and infrared radiation. For many materials, exposure to the full spectrum is necessary to provide an accurate simulation, especially when testing for color change and lightfastness. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
Long Lasting Lamps
The Q-SUN Xe-3 uses three, air-cooled xenon arc lamps to significantly reduce operating and maintenance expenses significantly over water-cooled lamp devices. Typical lamp life is 1500 hours.
Changing the Xe-3 lamp is quick and easy – it is easily accessible from the front of the tester. Replacement only requires the user to disconnect a simple plug connection, release two set screws, and remove the lamp housing. See LX-5000 – Q-SUN Xe-1, Xe-2 & Xe-3 Brochure.
A Choice of Optical Filters to Simulate a Variety of Environments
Xenon light must be properly filtered to achieve the appropriate spectrum for each particular application. Differences in spectra may affect both the speed and the type of degradation. Three categories of filters are available to simulate a variety of service environments, shown below. The application or test method dictates which filters should be used. See LU-8054a – SPD for QUV, Q-SUN, and Noon Summer Sunlight.
Daylight filters are used to simulate direct, noon summer sunlight. They provide the best correlation to natural exposures for most applications. Materials that are typically used outdoors like roofing or exterior coatings should be tested using daylight filters. Three different types of daylight filters are available for the Q-SUN Xe-3 tester: Daylight – F, Daylight – Q and Daylight – B/B.
Window Glass Filters
Window glass filters produce spectra equivalent to sunlight coming through window glass. This spectrum can also simulate other indoor lighting such as the harsh lighting found in a typical commercial or office environment. Window glass filters are used for indoor materials such as printing materials and textiles. Four different window glass filters are available for the Q-SUN Xe-3 tester: Window – Q, Window – B/SL, Window – SF-5 and Window – IR.
Extended UV Filters
Extended UV filters allow excess UV, below the normal cut-on of natural sunlight. They are used to produce faster or more severe test results. Extended UV filters are specified in some automotive test methods and are sometimes used for aerospace applications. The most common Q-SUN filter of this type is the Extended UV – Q/B.
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s long-life filters are exceptionally durable and maintain the required spectrum indefinitely. After many years of use, Q-SUN filters have yet to show any signs of aging. See LX-5060 – A Choice of Filters for Q-SUN for a more detailed discussion of optical filters, but the information above can be a useful guide.
Easy Calibration Assures Accuracy
The Q-SUN Xe-3 black panel temperature sensor needs to be calibrated periodically by the user. This assures accurate and consistent results.
Calibrating the Xe-3 black panel temperature sensor is simple using the Universal Calibrator system’s UC202 calibrated temperature sensor and UC1 handheld display, or the historical CT202 calibrated thermometer, and takes only a few minutes. Note that the CT202 and UC202 thermometers come with either an uninsulated black panel (UC202/BP, CT202/BP) or insulated black panel (UC202/IBP, CT202/IBP) sensor. This sensor must match the type of sensor actually used in the Xe-3 tester. The Xe-3 tester’s low-cost, combination relative humidity/chamber air temperature sensor is designed to be replaced once a year and cannot be recalibrated.
Calibration of the UC202 and CT202 thermometers needs to be performed annually. The UC202 thermometers were designed to be disposable and cost-efficient, and should be replaced annually with a freshly-calibrated UC202. The CT202 Thermometer needs to be returned to Q-Lab once per year for an inexpensive recalibration. UC202 units may also be returned for calibration for users who prefer recalibration to replacement. See our Recalibration Return Procedure. Q-Lab’s calibration labs are ISO 17025 accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA – Ohio Certificate Number 2382-01, China Certificate Number 2383-02, and England Certificate Number 2383-03). Calibrations are traceable to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Easy Calibration Assures Accuracy
The Q-SUN Xe-3 SOLAR EYE irradiance sensor needs to be calibrated periodically by the user to assure accurate and consistent results.
Calibrating the Xe-3 tester is simple using the Universal Calibrator system’s UC20 calibration radiometer or the legacy CR20 calibration radiometer, and takes only a few minutes. Both UC20 and CR20 devices come with a 340nm, 420nm, or 300-400nm TUV (Total UV) sensor and must match the type of sensor actually used in the Q-SUN tester. CR20 calibration radiometers must also match the optical filter in use in the Q-SUN.
Calibration of the UC20 and CR20 radiometers needs to be performed annually. The UC20 sensors were designed to be disposable and cost-efficient, and should be replaced annually with a freshly-calibrated UC20. The CR20 radiometer needs to be returned to Q-Lab once per year for an inexpensive recalibration. UC20 units may also be returned for calibration for users who prefer recalibration to replacement. See our Recalibration Return Procedure. Our calibration labs are ISO 17025 accredited by the American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA – Ohio Certificate Number 2382-01, China Certificate Number 2383-02, and England Certificate Number 2383-03). Calibrations are traceable to the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Versatile Specimen Mounting
The Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s flat specimen mounting tray offers the flexibility to test many sizes and shapes of specimens. Specimen holders are available in a number of sizes to accommodate traditional flat specimens, like panels and plaques. Three-dimensional specimens such as bottles, test tubes, cosmetics, golf balls, etc. can be placed directly onto the specimen tray or in special holders. Adjustable height stands are available to mount three-dimensional parts so that the top of the part is at the normal specimen tray height.
The near-horizontal specimen tray ensures that water doesn’t quickly run off the specimens, for best reproduction of outdoor results. It is also useful for testing materials that flow at elevated temperatures.
Please visit our specimen mounting page for more information and to see examples or inquire about the following part numbers:
Drain pumps are available for Q-SUN Xe-3 models. A drain pump is required if the drain tube must rise more than 100mm above the floor before reaching the drain. Inquire about the following part numbers:
Water Inlet Pump
Q-Lab offers a water inlet pump for Xe-3 model installations that do not have sufficient water pressure. The pump boosts low water pressure or draws water from a reservoir. The pump operates automatically and supplies water to the Xe-3 tester on demand.
Water Repurification System
To significantly reduce the cost of running the Q-SUN Xe-3 tester’s optional water spray system, Q-Lab offers a water repurification system that reuses the water that normally would go down the drain.