UK importers of materials to be used for manufacturing number plates shall need to ensure the product can satisfy the requirements of the new number plate quality standard BS AU 145e.
When a full suite of testing cannot be justified due to cost or time restraints then material quality may be initially qualified by satisfactory performance after thermal resistance against distortion (clause 12), resistance to bending (clause 10) and resistance to solvents and abrasion (clauses 11 & 14).
The most expensive and time consuming test is xenon arc weathering (clause 16) which exposes fully manufactured product to UV exposure and moisture in accordance with the standard for around 2200 hours (13 weeks) in order to provide 4500MJ/m2 radiant energy exposure.
Initial qualification will NOT be sufficient to allow use of the BS mark, but may provide the importer with greater confidence regarding the required quality of these materials for number plate end usage. The additional clauses required for full validation can be added later when greater confidence is confirmed.
AWL are still concerned that acceptable equipment required for measuring retro-reflection in accordance with the standard remains unclear. We are currently in discussions with BSI and NPL concerning this but progress is moving at glacial pace.
If there are any suppliers of laboratory equipment that may be able to help us with retro reflection measurements, then please contact us.
AWL are pleased to offer a cost-down opportunity for our clients that contract us to carry out the full suite of testing so they can use the BS mark. Visit our number plate testing page and/or contact us for additional information.