Various examinations of sealant joints show that there are many problems with leakage, even in fairly new buildings. Two main reasons have been that the sealant properties are overrated and that the joint design or workmanship is poor due to lack of knowledge about the basic requirements and the material properties.
The failure mechanism of an elastic sealant is described. This serves as a basis for a suggested engineering approach for designing sealant joints. A methodology is described by which aging and durability properties of a sealant can be evaluated. Examples of test results for various sealants are given.
Today there are sealants on the European market with excellent durability and high movement capability. The conditions are therefore good for a service life of at least 25 years for many selants. The problem is to get these sealants designed and used in the proper way.
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