(photo: TUV Rheinland)
06.01.2021, 18:41

Hailing Building Materials Testing

Finance, Insurance & Law, Construction, Standardisation, Building Materials

A specialised testing service from TÜV Rheinland can prevent damage to buildings, cars and caravans caused by hailsontes.

Damage which typically includes dents (including often expensive-to-repair water damage) and perforations, increasingly requires project owners and construction companies in Switzerland and Austria to submit a hail test for components of buildings that are going to be exposed to the weather as a condition of receiving commercial insurance.

TÜV Rheinland, which conducts tests at its environmental simulation laboratory, even reports: "A wide variety of materials are now being tested in our laboratory because the trade body for the  German insurance industry,  the GDV, recommends testing the resistance to hail in order to minimize damage."

Hail gun tests

Many manufacturers of solar panels have been using the company's hail testing service for decades.

Conducted with a hail gun, often in conjuction with other climatic simulations, the procedure is suitable for a range of products including sunroofs, roof tiles, skylights, exterior cladding, blinds, external sensors, and materials used in the construction of caravans.

Jörg Althaus, testing segment manager at TÜV Rheinland, adds: "Regardless of building or materials' regulations, there is a compelling marketing argument for manufacturers when their products can withstand severe hailstorms without damage."

Scalable resilience

The hail gun in the TÜV Rheinland laboratory simulates both the size and the speed of hailstones. Grain diameters of up to five centimeters and an impact speed of over 100 km / h can be set. The hail resistance can be classified using a scale from one to five, with the company's testers guided by testing methodologies which have been developed in neighboring Switzerland where the VKG (Association of Cantonal Building Insurance) uses evidence of hail resistance class as the basis for setting insurance premiums.

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