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Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.

Colourfastness Testing Series



 COLOURFASTNESSTOLIGHT

The complaints of poor colour fastness when sports dress loses color and form, the seat fabric
insideofacarorthecarpetfadestoofastareverycommon.Alldyeswillfadewhenexposedto
sunlightanditispossibleforadyedarticletofadenoticeablyduringdryingonawashinglinein
bright sunlight or, more importantly, under display lighting conditions in a retail outlet. Any
reputable retailer would, however, regard such a level of performance as quite unacceptable.
Testingforlightfastnessprovidesanobjectiveframeworkforwhatisacceptable.

Fastnesstolightisbasicallyafeatureoftheactualcolourantmoleculeitself;itis,infact,ameasure
oftheabilityofthemoleculetoabsorbradiationwithoutbeingdestroyed,theabsorbedradiation
beingdissipatedinotherways.Inadyewithpoorlightfastnessthemoleculewillbebrokendown
bytheabsorbedradiation.Nocolourantiscompletelyfasttolight,butitshouldbeemphasized
that this is not of real importance. All that matter is the colourant should not fade appreciably
duringthelifeofthearticle.

Lightfastnessisthedegreetowhichacolourantresistsfadingduetolightexposure.Differentdyes
havedifferentdegreesofresistancetofadingbylight.Allcolourantshavesomesusceptibilityto
light damage, simply because their colors are indications that they absorb the wavelengths that
theydonotreflect.Lightisenergy,andtheenergythatisabsorbedbythecolourantcompounds
degradethemornearbymolecules.

The resistance to degradation (or fading) of fabric dyes and prints due to light is therefore an
important requirement of a garment because without such resistance, the garment may change
colourandsuchcolourmaynotbeacceptabletothecustomer.

Retailers are also becoming more aware of issues concerning colour fastness to light. Higher
colour fastness is now being demanded for apparel that will be worn predominantly outdoors.
Anothertechnicalissueistheproblemofacceleratedcolourfadingonexposuretolightinalkaline
oracidicperspirationthroughtheintensephysicalactivityofthewearer.

Nowadays the criteria of light fastness is hence becoming a major concern amongst buyers and
consequentlywithdyers.

StandardMethodsoflightfastness:
StandardMethodsoflightfastness:

Generallytwomethodsoftestingarewidelyacceptedbymostofthecustomers.Theyare:

1. AmericanTestMethod(AATCC16,Option3)
2. ISOTestMethod(ISO105/BO2)

Boththemethodsrecommendtheuseofartificiallightsource,namelyXenonArclampexposure
asitisrepresentativeofnaturaldaylight.Thegraphbelowshowsthecomparisonofsunlightwith
theartificiallightproducedbythexenonarclamp.


ColourfastnesstoLight 1
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series



Xenon with Window Glass Filters
3.0

Sunlight
2.5
Irradiance (W/m/nm)

Sunlight
2.0 Through
Window Glass

1.5

1.0

0.5 Xenon with Window


Glass Filters
0.0
250 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800
Wavelength (nm)




Testprocedureinbrief
Testprocedureinbrief

Summary :   A specimen of textile is exposed to artificial light source under specified
conditions together with dyed blue standards having known fading characteristics. The
fastnessisevaluatedbycomparisonofthecolourchangeofthespecimenwiththatofthe
standardsunderstandardviewingconditions.
Parameters
Parameters
rs ISO105B02
ISO105B02 AATCCTM16(option3)
AATCCTM16(option3)
ApparatusandMaterials:
ApparatusandMaterials:
Xenon Arc lamp light fastness tester equipped with a
xenon lamp, suitable filter systems and various control
systems (Water or Air cooled type); Specimen holders;
Apparatus
Masks; Black Standard Temperature (for ISO) Black
Panel Thermometer (for AATCC); Colour Matching
Cabinet
RedAzoicdyedcotton
HumidityTestControlfabric -
cloth
BlueWoolLightfastness
1to8 L2toL9
referencestandards
RedAzoicdyedcotton
HumidityTestControlfabric -
cloth
Xenonreferencefabric
TemperatureControlfabric -
(polyesterdyed)

ColourfastnesstoLight 2
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series

Exposureconditions:
Exposureconditions:
Normal(Moderateeffectivehumidity)
Normal(Moderateeffectivehumidity)
L.F.ofhumiditytestcontrol 5 -
Max.Blackstandardtemp. 45C -
Extremeconditions(Loweffectivehumidity)
Extremeconditions(Loweffectivehumidity)
ity)
L.F.ofhumidityoftestcontrol 6-7 -
Relativehumidityofair - 305%
Max.blackpanel/standard
60C 631C
temp.
Chamberairtemperature - 432C
Irradianceat420nmor300- 1.1W/m2/nmforwater 1.100.03W/m2/nmor48
400nm cooledmachines 1W/m2
Extremeconditions(Higheffectivehumidity)
Extremeconditions(Higheffectivehumidity)
L.F.ofhumiditytestcontrol 3 -
Max.blackpaneltemp. 40C -

Lengthofexposure
Lengthofexposure
Expose until a contrast Exposeuntilacertainstageis
(change in colour) reachedandthenassesswith
corresponding to grey scale thegreyscale.Thiswillvary
grade 4 and later to grey dependingonthematerial;
scale 3 is visible on the test Theleastdurableexposedfor
sample, but at most until leastamountoftime(20
the blue wool reference 7 acceleratedfadingunits
shows a contrast (AFU)correspondingto
corresponding to grey scale referencesampleL4);40AFU
grade4 ofexposureforupholstery
 (equivalenttoL5,Draperies

Exposetoacertainlevelof 60AFUandsoon.L6is
irradianceisattained;H=E equivalentto80hours,Itis
x3.6xtwhereHisthe rareforclothingtorequirea
radiantexposurein lightfastnesshigherthanL5
kilojoulespersquaremetre; 
Eistheirradianceinwatts 
persquaremetre(orjoules 
persquaremetreand
second;tisthetimein
hoursand3.6isa
conversionfactor
Assessment
Assessment The light fastness rating Using Colour Change Grey
corresponds to the number Scale1-5
of the blue wool reference
on the light fastness scale
which shows a similar
contrast.

Rating between BWS 1 and
BWS8

ColourfastnesstoLight 3
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series



ComparisonbetweencommonlyfollowedISOandAATCCtestingmethods
ComparisonbetweencommonlyfollowedISOandAATCCtestingmethods

Thereisoftenconfusionbetweenthetwotestsinthemindsofpeoplenotfamiliarwiththetest
procedures.Themethodshavetwodistinctdifferencesintermsofassessmentanddurationof
testing.Often,theAATCCmethodisincorrectlyaskedforanumberofhourswhereasthecorrect
measureisAcceleratedFadingUnitsorAFU.

Testconditionsarealsodifferent,asdetailedintheearliersection.Typically,themostcommon
ISOtestisconductedatloweffectivehumidity(extremeconditions).

Asasummary,thefollowingtableshowsthemajordifferences.

Parameter
Parameter ISO105B02
ISO105B02 AATCC16
AATCC16
Assessment BlueWoolScale1to8 StandardGreyScale1to5
Durationoftest Notrelevant.Testcompleted DefinedbyBuyers,typically20
whensampleshowsspecific AFUforapparel,higherfor
fading. hometextiles
Temperature BlackStandardThermometer BlackPanelThermometer


FactorsaffectingLightFastnessRatings
FactorsaffectingLightFastnessRatings
ssRatings

Therearequiteafewissuesthataffectcolourfastnesstolight.Someofthesearediscussedbelow

1. Dyestuffused
Dyestuffused

The colourfastness to light is a property of the colourant molecules themselves.  Therefore,
selectionofcolourantsclearlyinfluencesthelightfastnessproperty.Combinationshadesalso
areaffectedbythelightfastnessofindividualdyes.

2. Dyeshade/depth
Dyeshade/depth

Unlikeothercolourfastnesstests,ahighershadedepthgivesmuchbetterlightfastnessratings
thanapaleshadeofthesamecombination.

3. Fabricsurface
Fabricsurface

It has been found that the surface area of the fabric can greatly affect the colourfastness to
light.  As an example, see the example below.  One is a single jersey fabric and the other a
pique.Bothweredyedinthesamebathforthepurposesoftestingandamarkeddifference
was seen in the light fastness.  The pique construction showed a much worse light fastness
thanthesinglejersey.

4. Finishingchemicals
Finishingchemicals

Some finishing chemicals can also affect the light fastness ratings.  While there is not too
muchinformationonwhichchemicalsdo,itisapointtobekeptinmindbyprocessors.

ColourfastnesstoLight 4
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series


SummaryofImportantIssuesforProcessors
SummaryofImportantIssuesforProcessors

SelectionofDyestuffmustbemadebasedonrequirementsandenduse
Rememberlightershadesgivepoorerlightfastnessproperties
Finishingchemicalscanaffectlightfastness..


Exampleoffabricwithpoor
colourfastnesstolight.
colourfastnesstolight.


 
 

Watercooledlightfastness
machine
machine


 

ColourfastnesstoLight 5
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series

Arrangementofwatercooled
xenonarclamp
xenonarclamp


 

Variationinlightfastnessdueto
differencesinknitstructure
differencesinknitstructure


 

ColourfastnesstoLight 6
Texanlab Laboratories Pvt. Ltd.
Colourfastness Testing Series

BluewoolstandardsISO105B02
Bluewoolstandards
test.
test.
BWS1toBWS5,showing
geometricprogressionoffading
geometricprogressionoffading







ColourfastnesstoLight 7