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Often, thermal movement and other factors are inadequately considered in the design of sealant joints. Deficient design results in premature failure of the sealant and usually water damage to the building and its contents. Performance factors that affect sealant joint design are described, including: thermal movement; moisture movement; live and dead loads; creep, elastic frame shortening, and shrinkage of concrete structures; and material, fabrication, and erection tolerances. Three examples, including calculations, will be presented of joints that accommodate movement: (1) expansion joints in masonry walls, (2) joints that occur between different building systems, and (3) multi-story curtainwalls with floor line expansion joints.
construction tolerance, expansion joint, performance factor, sealant joint design, thermal movement
Vice President and Architectural Consultant, Smith, Hinchman & Grylls Associates, Inc., Detroit, MI