Worst of the Elements
Sun (UV Damage)
Sun

UV light is defined as electromagnetic radiation emitted from sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation affects all things made of rubber, vinyl, plastics and fiberglass. In tires, for example, the bonds in long hydrocarbon chains are broken down, resulting in the loss of elasticity and pliability.

As an ionizing radiation, it can cause chemical reactions such as the degradation of many common polymers including polypropylene and polyethylene. The problem appears as discoloration or fading, cracking and sometimes, total product disintegration if the cracking has proceeded sufficiently. Many pigments and dyes also absorb UV and change color which can effect paints and textiles.

RH protection chart

UV radiation can be prevented by simply putting a barrier between the wavelengths and the object to be protected. The ideal protection method is to keep equipment out of direct exposure to the sun’s rays through sheltering. In circumstances where complete sheltering is not possible, a secondary method of mitigating UV radiation is to place equipment under a protective cover.

A protective cover should minimize radiation damage by blocking (absorbing and/or reflecting) the UV waves from penetrating the environment and damaging the equipment contained within. Further, the cover itself must be constructed of materials that contain chemical inhibitors able to withstand UV radiation in order to retain polymer strength and maintain the useful life expectancy of the cover, potentially under rigorous conditions.

The problem appears as discoloration or fading, cracking and sometimes, total product disintegration...