September 27, 2006
Researchers Seal the Deal on Caulking Durability
Building designers and owners will soon be able to choose caulking products with known performance attributes, thus improving durability, reducing water leakage, and lowering costs of maintenance, thanks to a research project being conducted at the
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to evaluate caulking durability. This project is supported by the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH), which is managed by the Office of Policy Development and Research.
There is currently no accepted, analytical method for predicting the durability of caulking material. As a result, builders have a hard time choosing a caulk that will provide best value to the homeowner. Working with the caulking industry, NIST has developed a test device called the SPHERE (Simulated Photodegradation via High Energy Radiant Exposure) that exposes caulking samples to high intensity sunlight (up to the intensity of 50 suns) at controlled temperature and humidity. This two- to three-week controlled test replaces the unreliable 26-month exposure period that's currently in use.
PATH has been supporting this effort because a predictable service life of construction materials will make selecting high performance products much easier. Building designers and owners will be able to choose products with known performance, thus improving durability, reducing water leakage, and lowering costs of maintenance. Reduced water leakage, for example, helps homes remain drier and healthier for America's families.
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Content updated on 2/23/2007