Some comments on durability testing of WPC according to EN 15534-1

IRG/WP 15-40695

S Bollmus, A Gellerich, H Militz

The standard EN 15534-1 (2014) gives advice for broad characterization of WPC materials and products. It contains instructions for test procedures concerning different properties e.g. mechanical properties, thermal properties, as well as durability. In this paper some WPC materials from the market were tested for their resistance against brown rot. Furthermore, the water uptake and bending properties (MOR and MOE) of the material before and after water storage and fungi exposure were tested. The results show that the mass loss caused by fungi was very low (0,3-0,7%). The loss of MOR after water storage was found to be up to 31%, the loss of MOE ranged between 11-61%. The loss of MOR of specimens after decay tests ranged from 19-49%; for MOE 45-70%. The mass control specimens showed losses of MOR between 12-46% and losses of MOE between 36-67%, even without any fungi exposure. The increase in moisture during EN 84 (1997) ranged between 3-8%. The moisture of test specimens exhibits big differences (7-17%). This finding suggests that, because of very low mass loss, the test set-up according to EN 15534-1 (2014) for causing fungal degradation is questionable. The measured loss in bending properties appears even without fungal degradation, thus any fungal influence. In general it seems doubtful that this part of the standard allows any prediction of durability or resistance against fungi degradation.

Keywords: WPC, durability test, water storage, mechanical properties, EN 15534-1 (2014)

Conference: 15-05-10/14 Vina del Mar, Chile

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