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Test Like Crazy
There’s only one way to find out how cementitious construction materials behave under certain conditions: testing, testing and more testing. And that’s exactly what WACKER experts are doing at the technical competence center in Burghausen – and at other sites all over the world. Always with the aim of finding perfect formulations for unique applications.
One focus of the work at WACKER’s Burghausen Technical Center is on testing in accordance with current standards. The results of these tests serve as a basis for comparison while also allowing us to determine in advance whether a given formulation can obtain official certification.
We perform all of the definitive testing methods described in the relevant standards. We have also drawn on our many years of experience to develop some test methods of our own, providing our customers with even more insight into their products.
Tests for Tile Adhesives
We test the adhesion of tile adhesives to different substrates in the lab under specific environmental conditions. We also determine the wetting capability, open time and slip as a proxy for good processing properties. Flexibility is a further test area, as it is essential for ensuring that a tile adhesive can cope with thermal or mechanical stress.
Ball Impact Test
The ball impact test reveals the benefits of polymer-modification in tile adhesives:
the enhanced flexibility prevents tiles from cracking due to impacts.
Determination of Slip
Determination of slip as defined in EN 12004-2: in the WACKER method, an additional force is exerted on the tile in order to test green strength.
The deformation test measures a tile adhesive’s flexibility and consists of a three-point flexural test to determine the maximum deflection of a 3-mm grout prism.
Tensile Adhesive Strength Test
The tensile adhesive strength test is a key analysis and reveals how strongly tile adhesives bond to cementitious substrates after different types of conditioning: standard conditions, water immersion, heat aging, and freeze-thaw cycles. In Burghausen, we have the capability to simultaneously expose a large number of test specimens to freeze-thaw cycles.
Our tests reveal whether a tile grout prevents water penetration and how it is affected by abrasive cleaning or thermal stress, among other things.
Determination of resistance to abrasion according to EN 12808-2: test specimens consist of 10 x 10 x 1 cm grout prisms clamped into a joint abrasion device that has been equipped with a grinding medium. The volume of abraded material is then measured.
Flexural/Compressive Strength Test
Flexural and compressive strength are tested following dry conditioning and freeze-thaw cycling. The standard test method stipulates a flexural strength of ≥ 2.5 N/mm2 and a compressive strength of ≥ 15 N/mm2.
The shrinkage measurement reveals whether hardening is accompanied by a change in volume.
Tests for External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS/EIFS)
The durability of external insulation composite systems is tested by determining the bond strength, flexibility and impact resistance of the embedding coat and adhesive mortar.
Testing for Impact Resistance
To test the impact resistance of a reinforced insulating material, we simulate the damage done, for example, to a wall by bicycle handlebars or hailstones.
Bond Strength Testing
Here we test the bond strength between the substrate and the insulation, adhesive mortar and embedding coat.
Tensile Adhesive Strength and Impact Resistance Tests
At our EOTA test center in Burghausen, we install customer systems along entire walls. After rain-heat-cold cycles, we then subject the test walls to tensile adhesive strength and impact resistance testing.
Tests for Renders/Plasters and Wall Troweling Compounds
Weatherability and UV resistance, water-repellency and mechanical strength are key properties of renders/plasters and wall troweling compounds. Our labs in Burghausen are fully equipped to test these properties in compliance with standard test methods.
Flow Value Determination
Determining the flow value helps to assess the consistency of the fresh mortar.
Air Content Testing
The mortar is compacted on a vibrating table. The air content then is determined as per DIN 18555-2.
Test for Capillary Water Absorption
The render/plaster is applied to disks of aerated concrete. Capillary water absorption is then measured as per EN 1015-18.
Water repellency may also be tested using the Karsten tube test.
Tests for Skim Coat/Wall Putties
Skim coat/wall putties are extremely versatile, finding application both indoors and outside – either as topcoats to smoothen surfaces or as a basis for paintwork and wallpaper. Our technical centers can conduct more than a dozen different types of tests to evaluate the performance and hydrophobic behavior of skim coat/wall putties.
Modifiying a skim coat with VINNAPAS® binders increases both tensile adhesion strength and paint adhesion. The adhesion of paint to a skim coat is evaluated by the cross-hatch test. Here, emulsion paint is applied to the skim coat. The specimen is then exposed to standard conditioning. After 7 days, paint adhesion is tested by crosshatching.
VINNAPAS® polymer binders increase the skim coat’s flexibility and flexural strength so that it can cope with a substrate’s typical dimensional changes without cracking. In this test method, a skim coat modified with VINNAPAS® is applied to a thin panel. Its flexibility is then tested.
Adding VINNAPAS® polymer binders to a skim coat increases resistance to chalking and abrasion. WACKER’s technical centers use this chalking test equipment to obtain standardized results.
At WACKER, an exterior skim coat is tested in the lab and under real-world conditions to obtain data on long-term durability. Our technical centers expose different skim coat formulations in combination with different paints to weathering before testing them. This yields interesting insights into the long-term behavior of the skim coat and the paint.
Karsten Tube Test for Hydrophobicity
VINNAPAS® H grades are especially designed to reduce the water absorption of a skim coat. The Karsten tube test is used to test water penetration in building materials and components. Test conditions broadly correspond to natural ones, particularly with regard to wind pressure and torrential rain hitting facades. This test allows precise determination of water penetration relative to time and surface area penetrated.
Tensile Adhesive Strength Test
The tensile adhesive strength test reveals how strongly a skim coat bonds to the substrate. A specimen with a thin layer of skim coat is exposed to controlled standard conditioning. Tensile adhesion strength is measured after 28 days under standard conditions as well as a sequence of standard conditions and heat.
Tests for Waterproofing Membranes
Waterproofing membranes are tested for their impermeability and their ability to bridge cracks. We employ different test methods to obtain the most robust information possible.
Water Impermeability Test
Test for watertightness: cardboard boxes can be waterproofed with 1 - 2 mm coats of polymer-modified waterproofing membranes.
Test for Elongation at Break
Test specimens are punched from a waterproofing membrane and then tested for their elongation at break as per ISO 527-1.
Test for Crack-Bridging Ability
The ability of a flexible coating to compensate for a crack in a substrate is tested as per EN 14891. The crack-bridging test is captured on camera and can be performed under standard climatic conditions or at temperatures below freezing.
Tests for Self-Leveling Flooring Compounds
Self-leveling flooring compounds contain at least 10 ingredients. The formulations are complex and generally tailored to specific applications. Flowability, pumpability, drying time and emissions are just some of the criteria we check.
This test measures the shrinkage of a specimen bonded on one side to a metal strip.
This test measures the spread of a given volume of mortar on a non-absorbent substrate after 1 and 15 minutes.
The abrasion test as per EN 13982-5 measures the wear induced by a rolling cyclic load of 2,000 N over 10,000 rotations. Sanding properties / resistance to abrasion can also be measured via the Taber test (with rotation).
Check Us Out Today!
Take a closer look at our Burghausen technical competence center: our interactive PDF presents our equipment and labs and explains the tests and inspections performed here.
You can download our interactive PDF from the box on the right.