Lucideon Invests in a New Frost Resistance Test Rig for Clay Roof Tiles and Natural Stone Products

Lucideon is pleased to announce the installation of a new frost resistance test rig for clay roof tiles and natural stone products. The new rig specifically meets the revised BS EN 539-2 Test for Frost Resistance test method requirements for clay roof tiles and has the capability to test to the existing natural stone durability standards.

In late 2013, a revision to BS EN 1304 Clay Roofing Tiles for Discontinuous Laying, product standard was published incorporating reference to the revised BS EN 539-2 Test for Frost Resistance, test method standard. Until then, frost resistance testing for clay roof tiles in Europe was based on 4 different test methods; each test method was related to a specific geographical region of Europe. In the UK, test Method D was used to assess the frost resistance of clay roof tiles for the climatic conditions of the UK and Ireland. The use of multiple test methods for a single property was seen as detrimental to pan-European trade; member states would only acknowledge frost resistance test certificates relating to their geographical region. Prior to the new test method, if manufacturers sought pan-European sales coverage, they were required to test the same roof tile properties 4 times, to different methods.

It has taken over 10 years to develop a single frost resistance test method; instead of different test methods, the frost resistance is now based on the number of damage free cycles the products achieve during the assessment. European geographical regions now have a defined number of cycles that act as a “threshold” for compliance with frost resistance in their specific climatic zone (as per the table below).

Country Level of Frost Resistance Number of Cycles
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and United Kingdom 1 150
Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece 2 90
- 3 30

Where a country is not listed above, and where testing is required, the product should be tested in accordance with level(s) valid in that country.
Reproduced from EN 1304: 2013 Annex C

In order to accommodate the fundamental change to the frost resistance testing methodology, Lucideon collaborated with Butler Refrigeration to design and commission the construction of a new freeze-thaw test rig. The new rig is capable of testing 6 sets of standard clay roof tiles, simultaneously.

Dr Andrew Smith, Head of Sustainability and Construction Materials, commented:

“Whilst fundamental changes in test methods and the equipment to undertake these tests are a significant cost to a test house such as Lucideon, it does afford us time to step back from routine testing and look at the potential opportunities to improve and expand our service offering.

“The new frost resistance rig will not only provide a significant increase in testing capacity but also allow for greater flexibility. We specifically designed the new rig to enable us to test both clay roof tiles and natural stone construction products to the relevant European Standards that relate to durability and frost resistance.”

For information about the new European Standard for roof tile compliance testing and/or R&D for new product development, contact Karen Allright, Technical Sales Correspondent: +44 (0)1782 764344 or karen.allright@lucideon.com.

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