Long-Term Field Test Results for Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Roofing
CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB (ARMY) CHAMPAIGN IL
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The U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories USACERL has recently completed a 10-year field exposure study of the performance of polyvinyl chloride PVC roofing membrane materials. Membranes from three manufacturers were installed at Chanute Air Force Base, IL, Dugway Proving Ground, UT, and Fort Polk, LA. A major difference in the roof constructions was that, at Chanute, the membranes were ballasted whereas, at Dugway and Fort Polk, they were mechanically attached except for one case which was fully adhered. The intent of the USACERL study was to compare the results of laboratory tests of membrane properties with field performance. Periodically over the ten years, CERL visually inspected the roofs to evaluate their performance and removed samples for laboratory characterization of selected mechanical and physical properties. The performance was generally satisfactory at Dugway and Fort Polk, whereas problems related to membrane shattering and splitting occurred at Chanute. Statistical analysis of the ten-year data set was conducted. Because of the less-thansaflsfactory performance at Chanute, the data analysis was focused on determining whether changes in any of the measured properties were consistently different for samples from Chanute than for samples from Dugway and Fort Polk. The results did not discriminate between the performance of the PVC membranes at Chanute and those at Dugway and Fort Polk. For example, it was observed that all samples at the three sites lost plasticizer during the exposure period. Two of the three membrane samples from Chanute did not lose significantly more plasticizer than those from Dugway or Fort Polk.
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology