Climate simulation

Climate simulation
© Fraunhofer IBP
Climate simulation can be used to obtain reliable information about the suitability and durability of products.

Tailor-made solutions for quality assurance and product development


Building products which are damaged or do not function properly must be at least repaired, if not completely renewed. Resistance to weathering and functional safety are important factors to consider when assessing the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of the products concerned. Therefore, for many years now, a whole series of standard tests have been available for quality assurance. However, these often reach their limits when it comes to testing completely new products or different uses for existing ones. In such cases, climate simulation is the method of choice in order to obtain reliable information about the suitability and durability of products.

Aims of climate simulation

Climate simulation describes the artificial stress on products due to changing climatic conditions. We focus on methods for testing hygrothermal properties (hygrothermal environmental simulation). Climate simulation is used to:

  • assess the resistance to weathering and usability of products exposed to changing hygrothermal conditions.
  • conduct research into the hygrothermal behavior of materials and systems under various climatic conditions and to validate model concepts
  • develop products to protect against extreme climatic conditions and their effects, as well as products to generate energy.

Added value through combining methods

Since outdoor and laboratory climate simulations are both complex and expensive, it makes sense to plan and optimize such test series by means of numerical simulation. For example, product variants and boundary conditions can be selected in advance by performing comparative calculations using the most critical combinations. While simulation results often show uncertainties in their absolute values, the results of such comparative calculations are usually very reliable.

The aim of laboratory climate simulation is usually to accelerate the aging processes that take place under normal conditions. However, unnatural change processes due to a possible excessive increase in climate parameters must be avoided. Numerical simulations or results from field tests can help to identify the maximum stresses occurring in reality.