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November 9th, 2007 · No Comments

There are two governing bodies that set standards. The first is The American Society for Testing and Materials. This is a 100 year old standard setting organization based in the United States. The ANSI Standards currently use ASTM Testing methods. The second governing body is the ISO Committee for Ceramic Tile this is a governing body setting European Standards. The ISO is using new testing methods developed in Europe.
There are 16 tests referred to in the ANSI A137.1 Specifications for tile.

ASTM as per ANSI A137.1 specifications
C-370- Moisture Expansion Test. This test measures the amount of expansion in a tile with water introduced into the tile body.

C-372- Thermal Expansion Test. Measures the amount of linear expansion in a test specimen with heat.

C-373- Water Absorption. This test measures the amount of water gained by a dried tile when soaked in water for a certain period. This test is critical in categorizing the tile both in the ISO and the ANSI specification.

C-424- Crazing Resistance. This test submits a tile to heat and pressure (in an autoclave) and the results to the glazed surface are observed.

C-482- Bond Strength. This test will demonstrate the force required to shear a tile bonded to a portland cement mortar bed from the bed.

C-484- Thermal Shock Resistance. When a glazed tile is subjected to rapid and severe temperature changes, there should be no visible damage to the tile in this test.

C-485- Warpage. The flatness of a number of tile samples is measured and compared to the allowed tolerance of the type of tile tested.

C-499- Facial and Thickness Dimensions. A given number of tiles are measured across the face and thickness is measured. The results are averaged and the range of dimensions recorded.

C-501- Unglazed Surface Abrasion. The test subjects a sample of an unglazed tile to abrasive material while revolving the sample. The amount of material removed by weight is then measured.

C-502- Wedging. A tile is measured and the amount of dimensional variation along two opposite sides is measured.

C-609- Small Color Differences. This test is used for glazed tile only (wall, mosaic, or paver) and determines the variation in color of field tile or trim to field tile. Only the flat portion of trim is used for this comparison.

C-648- Breaking Strength. A tile that is suspended on three points, is broken and the force required to break the tile is recorded.

C-1026- Freeze-Thaw Test tiles are subjected to temperature cycles after being soaked in water.

C-1027- Surface Abrasion. This test is for glazed tile only. It is based on the P.E.I. rating system. A number of sample pieces are subjected to rotation with an abrasive material on their surface (contained in a cup). After a certain number of cycles a specimen is removed. This is repeated after eight subsequent rotations. The tile that shows no wear at 12,000 cycles is then subjected to a staining test. Each test piece is then compared to a new piece and if visible wear is seen in a viewing box, the tile is considered to have not passed that level.

C-1028- Static Coefficient of Friction (or SCOF). In this test a tile to be used on a walking surface is tested by dragging a 50 lb. weighted sled over the surface of the tile and measuring the force required to just start the sled moving. A Neolite test pad is used as a standard friction surface. The SCOF is determined by dividing the force required to just start moving the weight by the 50-lb. test weight.

Mohs Hardness. This test does not have an ASTM designation but is useful as it determines the hardness of the glaze. A scratch is made on the tile being tested with various hardness substances. The scale is 1 to 10 with 1 being very soft (talc) and 10 being very hard (diamond).

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