Nissan: Testing paint samples to prevent sun damage without the sun

  • Even on the day with the shortest period of daylight – winter solstice – the sun still shines at Nissan’s engineering center near Detroit, Mich. with the help of the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) testing tool
  • In addition to real-world tests, Nissan engineers use the XWO machine to test paint, interior materials and plastics for durability and quality – a tanning bed of sorts
  • Nearly 100 different colored samples can be tested at once, reducing excess waste and saving time

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – On the darkest day of the year Nissan engineers in Michigan are still performing sunlight UV exposure tests thanks to the Xenon Weather-Ometer (XWO) tool that evaluates material durability in different climate conditions.

To evaluate the effects of solar energy on paint and other materials, a 4,000-watt Xenon bulb bakes nearly 100 samples at the same wavelengths as the sun. Samples rotate around the Xenon bulb to imitate earth’s orbit – and because the “sun can shine” 24 hours a day, it takes half the time to test paint samples. Engineers observe the material samples through a series of cycles to investigate changes and ensure top durability and quality for Nissan customers.  

“In addition to rigorous real-world tests, this tool allows us to create harsh environments,” said Doug Prytula, technician, body and chassis testing, Nissan North America. “It is one more step we take to ensure Nissan’s quality standards are second-to-none.”

Nissan uses test environments like the XWO accelerated weather chamber to replicate conditions that occur in a natural environment, right inside the lab. These test cells expose various types of material samples to a wide range of conditions that a vehicle may face throughout its lifecycle.

About Nissan North America
In North America, Nissan’s operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized annually by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year since 2010. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and INFINITI vehicles can be found online at and, or visit the U.S. media sites and


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