Thomas Baggs, Scientific Officer
Tom Baggs is a geomaterials scientist. His testing and evaluation specialisations include petrographic analysis, asbestiform mineral detection, stone facade anchorage systems, engineered products and the physical properties of dimension stone.
Stone Initiatives answers your FAQs about facade and engineered product testing.
Can you test the strength of a facade system in which natural stone is used as cladding?
We can test the failure load of individual fixtures to the intended stone type in accordance with test method ASTM C1354. These fixtures are often metal pins, bolts, or proprietary fittings such as StoneClips that are typically fixed to the stone with a glue such as Megapoxy or structural silicone. A project facade engineer with specific site knowledge can use the results we provide to determine suitability of the anchorage system for the intended use.
What is the sample requirement for testing the anchorage system strength of stone cladding?
Each system is unique, and therefore the sample requirements will be different. Initially, it is a good idea to contact us and provide some basic details about the system: what is the stone type, stone thickness, the type of engagement method (e.g. StoneClip, pin, pull-out bolt, etc), and loading orientation (positive or negative loading). Once we have this initial information, we can provide further advice on sample requirements and instruction about any specific preparation needed on the stone panels.
What type of engineered products can you test?
The engineered product testing segment of our business is the most diverse and customisable in terms of our capabilities and the range of testing we perform. What we can test ultimately depends on the test method required. To give you an idea of the scope of materials we test, we have carried out testing on samples of ceramic, porcelain, concrete, concrete flags, pavers, fired bricks, engineered stone, terrazzo, epoxy-coated surfaces, rubber products, steel panels and more. The extensive list of standard test methods that we can perform on engineered materials is growing year on year. Get in contact to discuss your needs with a specialist consultant and we will let you know how we can help. You can also see more on the Summary of our Capabilities page.
I am installing porcelain floor tiles on pedestals. What testing should I perform to determine if the tiles are fit for purpose?
The major concerns with installing 30mm porcelain and particularly 20mm porcelain atop pedestals (sometimes called pods) are their static point load capacity (i.e. their ability to withstand loading, such as force imparted by pedestrians, cleaning equipment, furniture, etc) and their impact resistance (i.e. their ability to withstand impacts, such as those imparted by falling mass, dropped bottles, heel strikes, etc). A commonly requested test program for pedestal/porcelain systems includes: slip resistance test, static load test, ceramic modulus of rupture test, tile impact test and a tile porosity test. Stone Initiatives can carry out all these tests in our laboratory. To facilitate testing, we need a few of the pedestals intended for use on-site, approximately 15 full-sized tiles intended for use, and details of the pedestal configuration. Please contact us to confirm sample and testing requirements specific to your project.
If you have additional questions about facade and engineered product testing after reading these FAQs, or if you’d like to organise a quote for your project, visit our contact page to get in touch.
“Working with Stone Initiatives has been a very positive experience – all queries are dealt with professionally and promptly, the quality of the work is 10/10 and the timeliness is spot-on.“