Volume 9, Issue 2 (February 2012)
A Test Method for Monitoring Modulus Changes during Durability Tests on Building Joint Sealants
The durability of building joint sealants is generally assessed using a descriptive methodology involving visual inspection of exposed specimens for defects. It is widely known that this methodology has inherent limitations, including that the results are qualitative. A new test method is proposed that provides more fundamental and quantitative information about changes occurring in a sealant during durability testing. This test method utilizes a stress relaxation experiment to evaluate the non-linear viscoelastic behavior of sealants. In particular, changes in the time dependence of the apparent modulus can be observed and related to molecular changes in the sealant. Such changes often precede the formation of cracks and theultimate failure of the sealant. This paper compares results obtained from the new test method and the currently used descriptive methodology.