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Kesternich Test: Simulated Acid Rain Exposure

Updated: Feb 6

What is Kesternich testing and why is it used?

Kesternich testing is a corrosion resistance method that exposes the test specimen to sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas and condensing humidity, forming sulfurous acid. Kesternich testing is used to simulate the corrosive and damaging effects of acid rain and industrial pollutants.

How is the Kesternich test performed?

The test subjects are placed in a specialized, sealed chamber. Deionized water is poured into a pan in the base of the chamber, and SO­2 gas is introduced at a fixed volume (according to the test standard.) The Kesternich test is performed in cycles of 24h. After a set number of hours, the chamber is vented and cooled to ambient before removal of the test specimens.

kesternich chamber in use in the lab
Figure 1: Kesternich chamber

What are common test specs/standards for Kesternich testing?

  • ASTM G87 Standard Practice for Conducting Moist SO2 Tests

  • DIN 50018 Sulfur Dioxide Corrosion

  • ISO 3231 Resistance to Humid Atmospheres Containing SO2

  • ISO 6988 Kesternich Testing

What types of products is Kesternich testing useful for?

Industries that routinely use Kesternich testing method vary widely. Construction and architectural component manufacturers are common users for Kesternich testing. Assured Testing has performed Kesternich testing on components such as roofing fasteners, decking fasteners, rebar for concrete, and window and doors frames. Electronics are another common item tested with Kesternich, especially components that will be used outdoors such as security cameras or doorbell cameras. Manufacturers utilize the Kesternich test to determine how their products will withstand exposure to simulated acid rain, so any product that has an end use outdoors is a potential candidate for Kesternich testing.

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