When designing building products and systems, engineers and technicians foresee that they meet certain technical features and design the systems accordingly.
More precisely, material and engineering designs are made in order to provide the technical specifications for building products. In design, engineers choose the material and size the products according to the materials they choose. The companies also produce products with different designs in order to differentiate their product ranges or to differentiate their products due to intellectual property rights. The reason for the different design can sometimes be to make a more economical design in system optimization.
The parameters taken into consideration in the design may be different from the situation we encounter in reality. In other words, some parameters that we do not predict in the design may exist in real conditions. This may result in the construction product designed and produced failing at a lower order than expected under real loads. Any failing is a professional affair that engineers will never want to encounter. Failures of materials and construction products should not be considered as failure conditions under mechanical loads only. Under the effects of durability, the material performance will gradually weaken and the strength against mechanical effects will decrease over time, ultimately resulting in a failure.
In addition to all these, the failure of building products produced for different purposes to provide the expected performance is a failure for the material. Apart from structural strength and stability, thermal conductivity, acoustic conductivity and fire performance can be given as examples. For example, if the performance of a material or system produced with the assumption that its thermal conductivity is below a certain value is worse than the predicted thermal insulation, the predicted thermal performance of the building will not be obtained. Consequently, the energy consumption will be above the predicted. Similarly, acoustic performance can also be evaluated. If the performance of an acoustic insulation material is worse than the predicted value, sound transmission between the sections will be provided. Thus, the project to which the material is applied will fail and the work done will be wasted. Later, this material will need to be added. In the worst case scenario, the applied sound insulation material will have to be removed and replaced with a new one. The most feared situation should be that the fire performance is different from the projected one in the project. When a fire situation, which will never happen to a building during its lifetime, or occurs in the building only once, if the performance of the systems in the building is different from the anticipated, it may cause loss of life in the building. In fact, safety in the case of fire resistance and safety in the case of mechanical resistance and stability are similar to each other, should be considered importantly.
The performance requirements listed above are determined according to the places where the material and building systems will be used in the building and their intended use. Accordingly, whether the criteria that design engineers consider in design are realistic or not is determined by laboratory experiments. Generally, issues that are overlooked in theoretical approaches are determined in experimental studies. These shortcomings are then rectified, materials are redesigned and tested. The use of the material providing the predicted performance is approved as a result of the tests. The test laboratory must be accredited in accordance with ISO IEC 17025 in the area where the test is applied. Otherwise, the reliability of the tests and the laboratory is questioned since the tests applied by the testing institution are not audited by third parties. You can find our blog post on this subject in our next posts.
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