Color, Gloss, and Mechanical Testing

Physical Testing
Q-Lab offers a wide variety of physical testing, evaluation and measurement services at its Florida and German facilities, including color, gloss, mechanical testing, and much more.

Quantify Your Exposure Testing Results

It is important to quantify the results of any exposure testing program. Typically, customers are interested in the amount of change their material experiences during the exposure. Change in some properties, like color or gloss, can be measured with specialized optical measurement instruments. Change in other physical properties can be measured with mechanical testing. Other changes like cracking, peeling, chalking, blistering, or rusting can be evaluated visually and rated according to standard scales.

Visual Evaluations

Our staff members at our facilities in Florida, Arizona and Germany are actively involved in standards organizations and are extremely familiar with evaluation techniques and reporting scales. Visual evaluation reports detail all defects observed, including cracking, blistering, peeling, chalking, adhesion, color change and corrosion. All visual ratings are made under standard lighting conditions to provide accurate, repeatable results.

Examples of visual evaluations (and applicable methods) include:          

  • Chalk - ASTM D4214, ISO 4628-6
  • Blistering - ASTM D714, ISO 4628-2
  • Cracking  - ASTM D661, ISO 4628-4
  • Checking - ASTM  D660, ISO 4628-4
  • Flaking/Scaling - ASTM D772, ISO 4628-5
  • Erosion - ASTM D662
  • Mold, Mildew, and Fungus - ASTM D3274
  • Dirt Retention - ASTM D3274
  • Gray Scale - ASTM D2616, AATCC EP1
  • Adhesion - ASTM D3359
  • Corrosion - ASTM D610, ASTM D1654, ISO 4628-3 & -8
  • Filiform Corrosion - ASTM D2803, ISO 4628-10

Color and Gloss Measurements

Instrumental measurements of appearance and surface characteristics include gloss, distinctness of image, and color. These are used in place of, or in addition to, the visual ratings. Electro-optical measurements are required by many standards, and provide the data from which statistical calculations can be made.

Mechanical Tests

Mechanical tests on physical properties are necessary for many products and materials. These tests include: 

  • impact & pencil hardness
  • tape adhesion & tape chalk
  • bend & abrasion
  • adhesion 

  • gravelometer chip impact testing 

Additional Services, Including Digital Photography

A complete test program often includes other special services or handling. Common services include washing, polishing, scribing and specimen weighing.  Q-Lab can also visually record weathering and lightfastness changes through digital photography. 

Frequency and Reporting

Evaluations and measurements can be scheduled on any time-frame. The property of interest is measured or rated prior to exposure. Evaluations are then performed on a monthly or quarterly basis to quantify the progress of the test specimen. Reports are used to chart the time/degradation progress in both hard copy and electronic data formats.

Please contact Q-Lab for more information on our test services, which may be available in Florida, Arizona, Germany, or all locations.


  • Verifying Illumination Levels

    A technician is shown here verifying proper illumination levels before performing a visual inspection

  • Visual Inspection

    Visual inspections are one of many cost-effective evaluations that can be performed at Q-Lab Florida and Q-Lab Deutschland.

  • Washing Specimens

    Prior to taking gloss and color readings, these specimens are washed in a mild soap solution to remove dirt and grime.

  • Impact Testing

    Impact and many other mechanical tests can be performed on your specimens in our Florida lab.

  • Scribing

    A technician is scribing a painted specimen in preparation for corrosion testing.

  • Gloss Measurements

    Gloss measurements being taken on a series of Q-PANEL standard substrates. Note the Q-shaped hole.

  • Tensile Testing

    Tensile testing is performed on a weathering specimen in Q-Lab Florida's physical testing lab.

  • Color Measurement

    A technician takes color measurement readings on a panel that has been exposed outdoors.

  • Impact and Adhesion Testing

    A specimen here was subjected to impact and cross-hatch adhesion testing.

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Q-Lab Phone Numbers

USA: +1-440-835-8700
Florida & Arizona Test Services: +1-305-245-5600
UK/Europe: +44-1204-861616
Germany: +49-681-857470
China: +86-21-5879-7970

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