Volume 3, Issue 8 (September 2006)
Nondestructive Field Testing of Installed Weatherproofing Sealant Joints—Questions and Answers
With current expectations for building exteriors to prevent all air and water entry into the building interior, the need for a near pertect seal of weatherproofing sealant joints has reached new levels of intensity. The need for better field tests has increased accordingly. To reach these goals, ASTM Standard C-1521-02a  has been developed and adopted. The practice outlines a nondestructive procedure. This procedure provides an examiner of the joint the option of inducing an artificial strain to the sealant bead using a blunt instrument so that the sealant is subjected to a stress at the bond line typical to the anticipated cyclic movement endured by the sealant during the normal service life of the joint. The advantage of this methodology is that it allows an unlimited amount of testing to be conducted. While the procedure does not specify a specific instrument to induce the strain, a device able to accomplish this procedure in a uniform, controlled, and calibrated fashion has been developed. The paper outlines a description of the device and its capabilities. The paper also provides a discussion of the use of statistical sampling when the option of 100 % testing is not feasible or required. The author believes that the future of field testing of installed weather proofing sealant joints should include enhanced nondestructive procedures. Continued field use, research, and development are essential in the quest for a near perfect building seal.