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Sealant joint failures usually result from either inadequate provisions for movement, improper selection and use of materials, poor workmanship, poor detailing, or combinations of these problems. The proper design of sealant joints includes not only movement calculations and material selection, but planning and detailing to provide overall moisture control, and specifying to assure proper installation. This paper discusses three common joint types, and outlines the primary variables involved in the design of moving joints. Tables of thermal and moisture expansion coefficients are given, and various formulas used for calculating movement are discussed, along with differential movement potential and construction tolerances. An analysis of generic sealant types and characteristics is given, with an emphasis on substrate compatibility, sealant performance and selection. The sum of the information represents a set of criteria which will assist practicing architects and engineers in the joint design process.
sealants, construction tolerances, silicones, urethanes, polysulfides, control joint, expansion joint
Architectural Consultant, Christine Beall · Architect, Austin, Texas