Our long-term test of clear vinyl and clear-vinyl treatments includes environmental outdoor tests with controls, as well as some real-world testing on one of our test boats.
For the outdoor testing, 8-by-10-inch vinyl test samples of Strataglass 40 mil, Strataglass 30 mil, Regalite 40 mil, Crystal Clear 30 mil, and OSea 40 mil were mounted over cut-outs in painted plywood sheets. One panel of each product was left untreated; one Strataglass panel was covered by a Sunbrella flap and not treated; and the rest were treated with protective sprays and creams.
One set of control panels was kept indoors in a controlled environment. Spray cleaner/protectant products were reapplied every 30 days, and cream/paste products were reapplied every 90 days.
The vinyl materials also are being evaluated, both treated and untreated, for aging effects-including any changes in color, opacity, texture, or stiffness.
Now, two years into the test, we are focusing on rainy weather performance, since this is the primary difference at this time. At the five-year mark, we will dismount all of the samples and perform more rigorous testing.
The test boat has a large clear-vinyl enclosure and large vinyl skylights in the hard top. We applied products that did well at the four-month mark to the windows on the test boat. We used the Imar 302 as a protectant, and the Imar 310 and Star brite View Guard as cleaners.