Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 31, 2010 Track Document
ASTM C1521-08

Standard Practice for Evaluating Adhesion of Installed Weatherproofing Sealant Joints

Standard Practice for Evaluating Adhesion of Installed Weatherproofing Sealant Joints C1521-08 ASTM|C1521-08|en-US Standard Practice for Evaluating Adhesion of Installed Weatherproofing Sealant Joints Standard new BOS Vol. 04.07 Committee C24
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Significance and Use

Many parameters contribute to the overall performance of a sealant application. Some of the most significant parameters are sealant bead size and configuration, joint movement, quality of workmanship, the quality of the adhesive bond, and the quality of the sealant material.

A sealant usually fails to perform as a weatherseal when it experiences cohesive or adhesive failure.

If a sealant bead fails, an evaluation of the total joint movement may be needed to determine if the joint sealant was strained beyond design or if the sealant failed within design parameters.

If a sealant bead fails adhesively, there is no straightforward procedure for determining the cause. The adhesive failure may be due to workmanship, the specific surface preparation used, the specific sealant used, poor installed joint design, poor bond chemistry and other causes.

Because of the complex nature of the performance of a sealant bead, an understanding of the quality of the adhesive bond is instrumental in any evaluation of sealant performance. It is critical that the test procedures used truly evaluate the quality of the adhesive bond and do not simply take advantage of the tear resistance of the sealant.

This method does not evaluate the performance of a sealant joint as a weatherseal. It only evaluates the characteristics of the adhesive bond relative to the cohesive strength of the sealant in a particular installation. Since any failures that result from use of this test method are intentionally induced, they do not necessarily mean that the sealant joint will not perform as a weatherseal.

The method results are most useful in identifying sealant joints with poor adhesion. The results of these methods can be used to assess the likely performance of the sealant joint and to compare performance against other joints.


1.1 This practice describes field tests to determine the adhesive and cohesive characteristics of an installed sealant joint, by manually placing a strain on the sealant. The sealant to be tested shall be fully cured. The results of this method can be used in conjunction with other information to determine the overall performance of the sealant joint. The user of this practice should define the other parameters to be evaluated such as cleaning of the substrate, depth control of the sealant, sealant profile, etc. This method describes both nondestructive and destructive procedures.

1.2 The destructive procedure stresses the sealant in such a way as to cause either cohesive or adhesive failure of the sealant or cohesive failure of the substrate where deficient substrate conditions exist. The objective is to characterize the adhesive/cohesive performance of the sealant on the specific substrate by applying whatever strain is necessary to effect failure of the sealant bead. It is possible that the strain applied to the sealant bead may result in the failure of a deficient substrate before effecting a failure in the sealant.

Note 1—The destructive procedure requires immediate repair of the sealant bead. Appropriate materials and equipment should be available for this purpose.

Note 2—Sealant formulations may fail in cohesion or adhesion when properly installed, and tested by this method. The sealant manufacturer should be consulted to determine the appropriate guidelines for using this method.

1.3 The nondestructive procedure places strain on the sealant and a stress on the adhesive bond. Though termed nondestructive, this procedure may result in an adhesive failure of a deficient sealant bead, but should not cause a cohesive failure in the sealant. The results of this procedure should be either adhesive failure or no failure.

Note 3—The nondestructive procedure may require immediate repair of the sealant bead, if failure is experienced. Appropriate materials and equipment should be available for this purpose.

1.4 The non-destructive procedure can be used for continuous inspection of 100 % of the joint(s) or for any areas where deficient conditions, which are inconsistent with the practices of Guide C 1193, are suspected.

1.5 The committee with jurisdiction over this practice is not aware of any comparable practices published by other organizations or committees.

1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

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Book of Standards Volume: 04.07
Developed by Subcommittee: C24.30
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/C1521-08
ICS Code: 83.060