Accelerated Aging - What is accelerated aging?
Accelerated aging is a form of product testing that involves exposing an item to extreme versions of real life conditions in order to predict how that item will naturally age (without having to actually wait for an item to age naturally). Also known as artificial aging, accelerated aging is designed to speed up the normal aging process so that predictions can be made about how an item will (or will not) change over time and estimates can be made as to the expected lifespan or shelf life of a product when actual lifespan data is unavailable (for example, when new label adhesives are developed, they will be exposed to extreme environmental conditions to help the manufacturer determine, first of all, if the new product will function properly in its intended environment and, second of all, what the lifespan of that new product is likely to be).
Accelerated aging can involve exposing a product to expected conditions for an extended period of time, to exaggerated versions of expected conditions for a short period of time, or to extreme versions of expected conditions (to deliberately cause the product to fail so that detailed analysis of the failure can be done under safe test conditions). Products are commonly tested to evaluate the stability of their material properties and to determine how they will react to different environmental factors (such as mechanical stress, water, chemicals, light, and extreme and/or fluctuating temperatures etc).
In labelling, all of the materials used to make label products will undergo accelerated aging tests, which are a vital step in the development of any new material – especially in the development of new adhesives. While it is simple enough to test an adhesive over a short period of time to determine if it is capable of producing a successful adhesive bond, it is less easy to predict how that adhesive bond will fair over time – particularly because adhesive bonds can be influenced at any time by any number of environmental factors (including exposure to different temperatures, light sources, or liquids, as well as any changes in the surface of the substrate, which will also age over time).Go Back to Glossary