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Dura complete 5000 hours of UV testing to underline composite technology leadership status

By Stuart Burns April 25, 2013

As a leading developer of composite technology for the outdoors, Dura commissioned Materials Technology Ltd, specialists in UV simulation, to carry an unusually extensive UV testing regime to EN ISO 4892-2:2006 to provide crucial information about the long term performance of its innovative composite decking and cladding products.

UV Report Cover Page

Dura, known for its fibreglass floor grating as well as its ground breaking composite timber decking and cladding, decided to complete 5000 hours of full weather simulation that comprised of both wet and dry cycles, so that it could be confident of its warranty even in extreme climates such as the Middle East or Australasia for its composite decking and cladding ranges.

Not only did the testing show that there is a huge amount of colour stability but additional 3 point load testing at the end of the cycle proved that the composite timber planks retained 90% of their strength despite the cycle of heat, water and UV after some 5000 hours. Interestingly, the material is so robust that once the initial weathering has its effect after 500 hours or so, the material strength and colour stability hardly decreases at all.

UV Load Chart

Chart to show Load Failure for Dura Deck


A common question is 'how many years does 5000 hours lab testing simulate in the real world'? The answer is that it depends. It depends on several macro factors related to the regional climate and weather system plus micro factors such as sun/rain exposure per day, amount of shading, wind direction at the specific place of install etc. Estimates suggest that 5000 hours lab testing is equivalent to around 10 years in UK, 4 years in Dubai and 3 years in Australia.

UV Map

UV Zone classifications


Colour Stability

Materials Technology Ltd produce detailed calculations and analysis to provide the science behind how much colour is retained.

 UV Colour detail chart


In order to bring this detailed information to life, please see below images to show the colour retention for our Dura Deck products plus an example of hard wood decking. The first shows Dura Deck Charcoal – the virgin plank is on the right and the 5000 hours sample is on the left.

 UV Charcoal 5000hrs

Dura Deck charcoal. 5000 hours on left. Virgin on right

The image below shows how our Teak colour composite decking products changes colour slightly over time from right to left.

 Teak Grading

Dura Deck Teak. Virgin on left

By way of comparison, we also undertook comparison testing for Balau hardwood decking over 5000 hours. I think you can guess which one is after 5000 hours?

Teak Grading.png

Balau hardwood decking. Virgin on right