Tests done in Augsburg for the desert

Customers want innovative products for rising technical requirements, solutions are increasingly marketed worldwide in regions with very different conditions. This requires new possibilities to test important product features. For this reason PCI has now installed a new climate chamber in Augsburg. So far the focus was set on classic laboratory testing parameters such as compressive strength, bonding tensile strength or consistency for the evaluation of building products, but now the evaluation of durability of building material and building material systems comes to the fore. The demand more and more often is that building structures should last for at least 100 years. The climatic conditions which a building is subjected to is of great importance. In real time such a test would not be possible. Therefore the conditions of building structures and/or building material must be reduced to a shorter period of time, however must be simulated as close as possible to reality. Since April 2008 PCI in Augsburg has the possibility to simulate even extreme climatic conditions in a specially developed climate chamber. The size of it comes close to a car garage and is open at the long sides and the bottom. This way large walls and/or floors of 2 x 3 m size can be connected and/or inserted for exposure to e.g. rain or heat and cold. Temperature conditions from -20°C to +70°C and relative humidities of 10 to 100 percent can be simulated without any problem. The climatic conditions in the chamber will then change according to computer-controlled cycles. It is possible to change the temperature inside the chamber from one extreme value to another one within one hour. When the cycles are completed several physical data – such as bonding tensile strength and changes in the surface like formation of cracks or chipping – will give information on the resistance to weathering of the tested material. The climate chamber meeting the requirements of EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Approvals) is applied e.g. in weathering thermal insulate composite systems, terrace coverings or concrete repair products and thus considerably contributes to the development of construction chemical products and systems which are exposed to extreme climatic conditions.