SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015 - (Page 40)

abaa nEws thE EffEctivEnEss of air barriEr instaLLations BY LaVErNE DaLGLEIsH, EXECUTIVE DIrECTor, aIr BarrIErs assoCIaTIoN of amErICa, INC. L aboratory testing will provide you with material characterization but you need some real world exposure to actually see if the air barrier material will perform as intended. To be able to see field performance, the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) constructed a test facility at the Syracuse University campus. Figure 2 - Testing wall specimens for air leakage before installing into opening Figure 5 - Data transfer point Exterior Field Testing Facility To be able to correlate the laboratory testing with real world performance, it was envisioned that a test facility should be located where wall assemblies - that included an air barrier - could be installed, measured and, ultimately, the performance of these walls tracked. Figure 6 - Equipment to measure the air leakage of the wall specimens Figure 3 - Exterior view of installed wall specimens Exterior Field Testing of Air Barrier Assemblies The first challenge was to design a test specimen wall that would be consistent with normal construction practices and could also be reproduced. The test specimen wall needed to include the normal gaps and cracks that would allow air to leak in and out. Once each test specimen wall was completed; it was installed into a specific opening in the building. ABAA and ORNL used a random selection system to determine on which wall the test specimen would be installed. Once all the test specimens were installed, all of the data that was being generated by the sensors was collected. This data collection period lasted one year to allow the weather conditions from all four seasons to impact the test 40 sprayfoam Professional | Summer 2015 Figure 4 - View of sensors installed in a wall specimen specimen walls' performance. In addition to data being collected on moisture, temperature and air pressures, SU conducted pressurization tests on the test specimens. Forensic Review of Test Specimen Walls A forensic examination of the actual air leakage paths of the wall specimens was conducted to determine the specific air leakage paths of each test specimen wall. The test specimen walls were deconstructed and examined at the end of the year of data collection. Some of the more excessive air leakage paths identified were: ➢ Voids in the sealant foam ➢ Joints in the framing that allowed air to leak around the air barrier material ➢ Electrical outlets ➢ Stud/plate interface ➢ Around tubing used to measure pressures in test specimen wall ➢ Penetrations not properly detailed ➢ Transition membrane not fully adhering to substrate ➢ Holes in fluid-applied materials ➢ Blisters in fluid-applied material ➢ Shrinkage of spray polyurethane foam ➢ Joints in substrate observations Many conclusions can be noted from the data collection and analysis that took place as a result of this research project. First, the baseline walls used were very typical of the construction

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015

Executive Director’s Corner
President’s Post
Foam Business News
SPFA Today
Sprayfoam 2015 Convention and Expo Coverage
The Impact of Negative Media
Legislative Update
Behind the Foam
Speaking Sensibly New Building Codes – Air Tightness, Ventilation and Moisture Control
Communication and Commercial Sprayfoam Projects
ABAA News
2015 SPFA Contractor Awards
Safety First
Ask the Expert
Index of Advertisers | Advertisers.com

SPRAYFOAM Professional - Summer 2015

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