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Hidden Seam Failures? We Put Flashing Tapes to the Test

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Aug 31, 2012 01:01 AM
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by Paula Melton last modified Aug 30, 2012

Author name:  Peter Yost Blog Category:  GreenSpec Insights Sticky Business Flashing and air barrier seam tapes get buried deep in our walls where we rely on long-term performance without monitoring them. Are they doing their jobs? Companies do their own more sophisticated testing, like this tensile test on ZIP Tape. The company has a whole video on its testing procedures , but it's more fun to try this at home! Photo Credit: Screen shot from ZIP System video NOTE: Read this whole series here . Service life of tapes can determine the service life of an entire high-performance building assembly. Performance testing of adhesives and sealants used in our weather barriers is improving due to new field-testing research, as we’ve written about before. However, the improvements in testing haven’t reached a critical product area: pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes used for sealing seams in flashing, housewrap, and generally creating continuity in air and weather barriers. “I am unaware of any work being done on this issue, either laboratory or field tests,” says Christopher White, of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The most commonly cited adhesion tests for pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) tapes are as follows: ASTM D3330 – Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes ASTM D903-98-04 – Standard Test Method for Peel or Stripping Strength of Adhesive Bonds ASTM D1876-01 – Standard Test Method for Peel Resistance of Adhesives ASTM D3654 – Standard Test for Shear Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes ASTM D3330 – Standard Test Method for Peel Adhesion of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes But none of these tests is ideally suited for lab-testing high-stretch construction flashing tapes, and none go anywhere near testing under field conditions. And since just about all tapes are used in concealed weather and air barrier systems, we really need a field-service-life prediction test.  “Workbench tests” of flashing tapes So we took matters into our own hands—or rather, our own workbench. Lately I have been just sticking a slew of tapes on different building materials and gauging how hard it is to pull them apart. read more






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