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September 28, 2007 10:35 AM CDT

Grace Construction’s Perm-A-Barrier® Passes ASTM Testing


Grace Construction Products, a worldwide leader in products for the construction industry, has successfully completed independent testing on its Perm-A-Barrier air barriers in accordance with the new ASTM E 2357 Standard Test Method for Determining Air Leakage of Air Barrier Assemblies. In addition, Grace announced that voluntary additional testing of air barrier assemblies constructed with its Perm-A-Barrier air barrier products yielded results that surpass requirements of the new ASTM standard, as well as other respected industry specifications. Grace's air barrier products tested include Perm-A-Barrier Liquid, Perm-A-Barrier VP and Perm-A-Barrier Wall Membrane.

The new ASTM standard provides, for the first time, a uniform method to evaluate a full air barrier assembly. Prior to its development, components of the air barrier assembly - such as the air barrier material, flashing material and sealing materials - were evaluated separately. In addition, this new testing method incorporates wind loads that push and pull on the air barrier assemblies, exposing weak areas that could leak air - an advancement from previous test methods.

The ASTM E 2357 test entails installing a full air barrier assembly onto an eight-foot by eight-foot mock-up of an exterior wall assembly. To make the test as realistic as possible, the mock-up includes such features as a tie-in to a foundation wall, tie in to a roof, duct and pipe penetrants, electrical outlet penetrants, a window opening, and post-applied brick ties. All these conditions must be sealed and flashed to the air barrier assembly to withstand positive and negative sustained wind and wind gust loading simulating real-world, in place conditions.

With test results of <0.0008 cfm/ft2 (0.004l/s*m2), grace's perm-a-barrier liquid, perm-a-barrier vp and perm-a-barrier wall membrane all achieved air leakage rates below the detectable limits of the test laboratories' equipment and are 50 times below the allowable air leakage rates specified by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) and a proposed revision to ashrae 90.1 of 0.04 cfm/ft2 (0.2 l/s*m2).

After successfully completing the ASTM E 2357 testing on the air barrier assemblies, Grace chose to subject the assemblies to extreme wind loading beyond the test requirements. The Perm-A-Barrier air barrier assemblies withstood the equivalent of 168 mph wind gusts and air pressures of 72 psf (3445 Pa) before allowing air leakage through the assembly.

About the Author

Grace Construction Products offers a wide range of innovative specialty construction chemicals and materials that includes: concrete admixtures and fibers, products for architectural concrete, liquid pigments for colored concrete, cement processing additives, concrete masonry products, air and vapor barriers, structural waterproofing systems and fire protection products. To find out more, please visit


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