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Recommended Test Methods

Updated:2007-11-19 11:44:31
AAMA 501.1 Test for Water Penetration using dynamic pressure.

ASTM E-283 Air Infiltration Test by static pressure.

ASTM E-330 Structural Load Test by uniform static pressure (positive and negative).

ASTM E-331 Water Infiltration Test by static pressure.

The four test methods listed above are used in the stone industry to test the performance of stone panels installed on a grid system, a strut system, or stone panels assembled on pre-fabricated steel frames, or trusses, or used as components of field-installed curtain-wall or shop-assembled unitized curtain-wall.

ASTM C-97 Water Absorption Test is recommended for all dimension stones used for exterior installation and for interior flooring and base course. Maximum absorption rate by weight for granite is 0.4%, for marble 0.2% and for medium density limestones 7.5%.

ASTM C-99 Modulus of Rupture Test is helpful in the design of panel sizes, thickness, and surface finish and is useful to design limitations of anchoring. Minimum requirements of modulus of rupture for granite 1500 psi (10. MPa); for marble 1,000 psi (7 MPa) and for medium density limestones 500 psi (3.4 MPa).

ASTM C-170 Compressive Strength Tests are adequate to design simple construction, but not sufficient for thin veneer design for high rise construction. Minimum requirements for compressive strength: for granite 19,000psi (131 MPa), for marble 7,500 psi (52 MPa), and for medium density limestone 4,000 psi (28 MPa).

ASTM C-215 is used as a non-destructive test for detecting significant changes in the dynamic modulus of elasticity of the test specimens due to cycling, by measuring their transverse frequencies after predetermined group of cycles.

Based on research and experience, it is presumed that the total loss of strength of natural stone cladding will be in the 40 to 50% range, due to weathering, over the life of a building.

Stone strength is also affected by the methods used for finishing its exposed surface. Polished granite appears to be the most resistant to hostile attacks of the weather and to aging. Some fine grained white marbles lose the greatest amount of strength. Limestone falls in between granite and marble.

]ASTM C-241 Abrasion Resistance Test determines the abrasion resistance of all types of natural stone for floors, steps, and similar uses where wear is caused by the abrasion of foot traffic. The minimum abrasion resistance (Ha value) of granite is 25. The minimum abrasion resistance value of both limestone and marble is 10.

]ASTM C-880 Flexural Strength Test provides better information for the design of panel sizes and thickness, surface finish and anchoring limitations. Minimum requirements for flexural strength of limestone have not yet been established by ASTM Committee C-18. The minimum requirement for granite dimension stone is 1200 psi (8.3 MPa) and 1000 psi (7MPa) for marble.

ASTM C880 FLexural Strenght Test



ANCHOR PULL-OUT TEST This test is used for all engineered systems having thin veneer dimension stone for exterior cladding. The method of anchor pull-out tests and minimum requirements are engineered and calculated by the design engineer of the anchoring system
.

Example Of Anchor Pull-Out Test



CHAMBER TESTS These tests are done for large jobs to control the performance of stone panels produced with stone blocks from various quarry locations and to test the performance of the anchor connections as described by ASTM C-1201. Chamber tests can be performed in the fabrication shop from randomly selected blocks, or at the job site by building a small wood chamber around the designated stone slab and pumping air out of the chamber to create a suction force generally 1.5 times the design load. Such tests can also be made until failure occurs in the stone slab, or its anchor provisions. It is desirable that no failure take place until 4 times the design load is reached
.

Example For Shop-Test Chamber



DURABILITY TEST There is no standard test procedure for the durability of natural stone. Until standard test procedures are developed, ASTM C-666 which describes the resistance of concrete to rapid freezing and thawing is often used with minor modifications (to be reasonably analogous to the conditions the stone will experience on the building) to test the durability and aging resistance of dimension stone on an accelerated basis. If such tests take 300 cycles, then it will require close to three months to perform. They are generally costly. 

A control group of specimens is tested vs the cycled specimens. Increase in absorption of the specimens after cycling, weight loss, decrease of strength in compressive strength in modulus of rupture and in flexural strength shall be evaluated and any visual deterioration or erosion during the test should be recorded and reported including the number of cycles at which such defects were noted.

The dry-to-wet ratio of the modulus of rupture of a thin section of natural building stone could also give an approximate evaluation of the durability of the rock. Erhard Winkler in his paper "Durability Index For Stone" (1985), prepared for the International Conference on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, gives the relationship of the general stone evaluation as function of dry-to-wet strength ratio based on the modulus of rupture.

Winkler Wet & Dry Ratio Durability Index



SHEAR AND PULL-OUT TESTS of anchoring of stone facing to precast panels. Such tests are made to establish the resistance of the natural stone to separation from the back-up.


source: Building Stone Institute
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