The BBA’s Hygrothermal testing chamber ensures thermal insulation materials are safe and fit-for-purpose.
BBA discuss their Hygrothermal testing chamber facilities, which enable them to deliver essential accreditation for External Wall Insulation Systems. The article was originally published in the February Issue of Insulate Magazine.
External Wall Insulation
The thermal performance of a structure, whether it’s a corporate office block, municipal building or a private home, is greatly improved by External Wall Insulation Systems (EWIS), such as External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS). Moreover, these systems also support the effectiveness of materials and systems installed by roofing contractors. That’s all well and good, providing they are working properly after being properly tested and assessed by industry experts.
BBA Test Services can test a range of ETICS, VETURES and render systems for use on masonry, steel and timber framed walls. In particular, it has the capabilities to meet the testing requirements of ETAG 004, ETAG 17 and MOAT 22.
ETICS Test Areas
The following are test areas related to ETICS, incorporate all that’s necessary to maximise the thermal performance of a building’s structure:
Monitoring the performance of materials after hygrothermal cycling to simulate the service life of the system. Colour change measurements can also be taken after exposure to ultra violet light.
Energy efficiency and thermal performance
Procedures testing for thermal conductivity and resistance with the use of a sophisticated heat flow meter installed in the BBA’s hi-tech test facilities in Watford. This large, state-of-the-art piece of equipment is UKAS accredited and accurate to ±1.5%.
Utilising its ETAG 004 environmental chamber, BBA test experts apply heat/rain and heat/cold cycling procedures plus heat/spray and freeze/thaw cycling.
Tests include resistance to hard and soft body impact, resistance to pull through of fixings, and bond strength tests to ensure the systems are safe and secure.
Water absorption tests help predict and ensure the hygrothermal and freeze/thaw performance of a system, while vapour transmission rates are essential for condensation risk analysis.
Focuses on a product’s ability to resist wind uplift, essential for high-rise buildings and exposed locations.
In addition, the BBA tests a number of other insulation product properties to demonstrate suitability for other roof, wall and floor applications.
BBA ETICS and EWI Product Accreditation
BBA testing provides manufacturers of ETICS and EWI products important accreditation. Giving access to CE Marking to relevant harmonised standards, BBA Test Services are a notified, UKAS accredited laboratory, and associated test reports can be used to obtain Agrément Certification, widely considered to be the ultimate stamp of product approval in the UK.