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Test Method: SATRA TM160

Colour fastness to light from a xenon arc

July 1992


This method is intended to determine the resistance of a colour to the action of an artificial light source which closely approximates to natural daylight through glass but is of a higher intensity. The method is applicable to all types of material.


Parts of the surface area of a test specimen and a series of eight standard reference fabrics are exposed to high intensity light produced by a xenon arc. The standard reference fabrics have known but varied colour resistance to light fading such that each fabric in the series is approximately twice as fast as the preceding fabric. The humidity and temperature of the test atmosphere are controlled as this can affect the rate of fading. The humidity value is validated by use of an additional reference fabric with a known, humidity-dependent rate of fading. The amount the test specimen has faded is assessed after two levels of exposure which are determined by the fading of one of the reference fabrics:

Exposure level 1 – At this stage the test specimen is compared with all eight standard reference fabrics. The light fastness of the specimen is graded as equal to the reference fabric showing the most similar degree of colour change.

Exposure level 2 – At this stage the test specimen and eight standard reference fabrics are removed from the light source and are stored in a dark environment at room temperature for 24 hours. The test specimen is then assessed in the same way as it was at exposure level 1.


BS EN 20105-A02: 1995 – Colour fastness of textiles and leather: Grey scale for assessing colour change.
BS EN ISO 105-A01: 1996 AMD 10478: 1999 – Colour fastness of textiles and leather: General principles of testing.
BS EN ISO 20105-B02: 1993 – Colour fastness of textiles and leather: Colour fastness to artificial light – Xenon arc fading lamp test: Clause 4.1.2 and Table – Dyes for blue wool references.


First issued July 1992.


This test method is available to members and non-members.


This price is for a printed copy of the Test Method.

  • Members: £75
  • Non-members: £215



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