Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Quantum Efficiency of Spectral UV on Polyurethanes



Tinh Nguyen, Jonathan W. Martin, E Byrd, E Embree


Polyurethanes (PU) are used extensively as exterior building materials. However, PU undergoes degration during outdoor exposure. The quantum efficiency of spectral UV on photodegration of an acrylic-urethane coating has been investigated. Samples of approximately 8 m thick film applied to calcium fluoride substrates were prepared from a mixture of an acrylic polyol with an aliphatic triisocyanate. The UV source was two 1000 W xenon arch lamps, which produced radiation from 270 nm to 800 nm. Ten band pass filters, each having a specified wavelength range, were employed to provide different UV wavelength ranges from 290 nm to 540 nm. In addition, specimens exposed in the absence of UV and under 300 nm cut-on filters were also characterized. Exposure cells containing twelve windows (11 filters and one in the absence of light) corresponding to 12 specimens were used. All specimens were exposed to 50 C and at {difference} 0% relative humidity for more than eight months. The quantum efficiency of each wavelength range was estimated from data on degradation and total dosage absorbed in the film; both properties were measured by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and UV-visible spectroscopy, respectively. Both oxidation and chain scission were utilized to quantify PU phodegradation. Although there was no effect of wavelength on the degradation mechanism, both the rate and extent of degradation varied with dosage absorbed at different wavelength ranges. Except for the 290 nm filter, which had the highest value, quantum efficiency of other wavelength ranges did not differ greatly.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Durability of Buildings Materials and Components
Conference Dates
March 17-21, 2002
Conference Location
Brisbane, AS
Conference Title
International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components


building technology, coatings, degradation, FTIR, photodegradation, polyurethane quantum efficiency, UV, wavelength


Nguyen, T. , Martin, J. , Byrd, E. and Embree, E. (2002), Quantum Efficiency of Spectral UV on Polyurethanes, Proceedings of 9th International Conference on Durability of Buildings Materials and Components, Brisbane, AS (Accessed July 18, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created March 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017