Brick & Mortar Research Laboratory

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Roof tile testing

Transverse strength AS 4046.3

This test measures the force required to break the tile in half. Tiles are first soaked in water for 24 hours, then supported on battens cut to fit the tile profile and loaded via another shaped batten. The results are expressed in newtons and can be compared against the requirements of AS 2049.

Water absorption AS 4046.4

Pieces of water-saturated tile are weighed, dried in an oven and re-weighed to measure the water absorption as a percentage of the dry weight. AS 2049 sets out a maximum value for "general purpose" tiles.

Permeability AS 4046.5

To determine whether water can penetrate a tile, a dam is set up on the top surface of the tile by sealing the bottom edge of a shaped enclosure to the tile, filling the enclosure to a depth of 50 mm with water, and seeing whether any drops form on the underside of the tile over a 2-hour period.

Resistance to salt attack AS4046.7

Salt can cause damage to roof tiles, by chemical attack or by the expansive effect of salt crystals forming in the pores of a tile, or a combination of both. To assess how resistant a tile is to this, small pieces are alternately soaked in a salt solution, dried in an oven, soaked again etc, for 40 cycles. The amount of material that's crumbled or flaked off the surface during this process determines whether the tile can be classed as exposure grade. This is of most relevance in coastal situations.