By Alvaro Enguita-Gonzalez, Head of Testing
In the first of our 2-part series we looked at the importance of BBA Test Services, highlighting the impact on safety, standardisation and guarantees resulting from a lack of tests being conducted on products and systems.
In the concluding part of the series, we explore the different types of tests available, focusing on those that help to determine a product’s characteristics and behaviours as part of a whole system, including but not limited to weather, energy performance and security.
To each element, its specific test.
The characteristics and behaviour of the different materials and elements directly affect the safety and durability of buildings. For this reason, they undergo specific tests to establish the quality levels and to guarantee their adequacy. Examples of these tests are:
Weather Resistance & Wind Serviceability
There are two types of weathering that must be considered:
Physical involving the breaking down of materials through direct contact with atmospheric conditions such as heat, cold, water, ice or wind.
Chemical assessing the adverse effects of atmospheric or biologically produced chemicals.
Both types of weathering occur together and, using a weathering chambers and wind tunnels, they can reproduce such conditions and the subsequent impacts at both discrete component and large systems levels. After the exposure to adverse climate conditions, a diverse range of complimentary tests can be performed to evaluate the residual performance of the specimens.
Cladding, roofing and walling are some of the systems commonly tested within our large-scale laboratories.
Security and manipulation
The BBA’s UKAS accredited laboratory offers an independent and comprehensive service to carry out testing to PAS 24: 2016, giving specifiers and end users the confidence that the certified windows and door-sets comply with the current requirements.
Door-sets and windows are tested for enhanced resistance to intrusion by using both mechanical and manual techniques to replicate the forces and methods of attack implemented by burglars. The sequence of tests completed includes hardware manipulation, evaluation of glazing security, mechanical loading and a manual check test.
The test results can then be used towards BBA Agrément Certification and the Police security initiative; Secured by Design (SBD).
The thermal performance of a construction product plays an increasingly significant part in the decision-making process, as its performance determines the lifetime energy assessment and efficiency of a building.
The durability of thermal performance is crucial, and the BBA’s laboratory can subject specimens to a range of different regimes to allow prediction of changing effectiveness. Other factors affecting thermal properties, such as moisture absorption, can also be investigated and measurements made on specimens at a variety of moisture contents.
The BBA’s heat flow meters are used to make thermal measurements on a wide range of construction products from insulation materials, door panels, plasters and renders. For reflective products, emissivity can be measured too.
Maximum guarantee and security
The BBA has laboratories with specific rigs for each type of product at its headquarters in Watford. All the tests are subjected to the strictest quality controls, complying with international standards recognised and evaluated by UKAS, whose quality and safety requirements translates into a guarantee of effectiveness for customers.
In addition, the greatest guarantee is corroborated by the thousands of customers around the world who rely on the professionalism, knowledge and excellence of the BBA when carrying out testing and certification.
With the diverse testing capabilities of BBA Test Services, and our over 50 years’ experience in Certification, Testing, Auditing and Inspection of new products and systems in the construction industry, we are continually evolving with rigorous and effective processes and services that are aimed at meeting the growing needs of our clients in the , markets and an increasingly strict regulatory framework.