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Evaluate the lifespan and durability of building materials for safer buildings

30 June 2022
INEGI team that works in the area of ​​inspection and monitoring of infrastructure is collaborating with the multinational Saint-Gobain to test the durability of building facades coated with ceramic panels.

The use of ceramics in the cladding of facades is a historic solution in Portugal, with aesthetic, mechanical and waterproofing value, recognized for its durability. This is also why it is constantly challenged in new construction contexts, with the need to adapt to thermal insulation systems, light and modular construction and the very dynamics of developing new formats and colors of the material itself.

Faced with the challenges, Saint-Gobain wanted to determine with a high degree of confidence the structural behavior of the materials, so it turned to INEGI to obtain this answer. The challenge consisted in evaluating, through strain and temperature sensors, the structural behavior over time.

To this end, INEGI has developed a customized test bench for the controlled performance of thermal cycles up to 50ºC. "The results, so far, show that all the components - panels with ceramic coating, bonding and associated insulation materials - present a very disciplined behavior and the voltages obtained are within the elastic regime for each material analyzed", says Nuno. Viriato, responsible for the project at INEGI.

Knowing better the mechanical behavior of these systems will translate into fewer replacements or unexpected repairs of detached panels, better cost-benefit in the long run, and greater safety. In addition to this guarantee, thanks to the work of INEGI, according to Luís Silva, project coordinator for Saint-Gobain, it can ensure that the mortars contribute positively so that these systems fit within the requirements associated with the installation of ceramics and approach good constructive practices. accumulated by decades of experience. He also mentions that it is works like this that support and consolidate recommendations for the execution of differentiating solutions, often not standardized, because they present technical results capable of confirming or adjusting certain expectations on the job.
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