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Laboratory measurement and boundary conditions for the water vapour resistivity properties of typical Australian impermeable and smart pliable membranes


Olaoye, TS and Dewsbury, M and Kunzel, H, Laboratory measurement and boundary conditions for the water vapour resistivity properties of typical Australian impermeable and smart pliable membranes, Buildings, 11, (11) Article 509. ISSN 2075-5309 (2021) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).

DOI: doi:10.3390/buildings11110509


The duo of better insulated and more air-tight envelopes without appropriate consideration of water vapour diffusion and envelope moisture management has often demonstrated an increased potential of moisture accumulation, interstitial condensation, and mould growth within the building envelope. To inform a resilient, energy efficient, and healthy building design, long-term transient hygrothermal modelling are required. Since 2008, concern has been raised to the Australian building regulators regarding the need to establish the vapour diffusion properties of construction materials, in order to develop a hygrothermal regulatory framework. This paper discusses the results from laboratory testing of the vapour diffusion properties of two common reflective pliable membranes, and one smart pliable membrane. The two reflective pliable membranes are often used within the exterior walls of Australian buildings. The smart pliable membrane is a relatively new, internationally available product. The three membranes were tested as per ISO 12,572 at 23 C and 50% RH. To establish if the vapour resistivity properties were constant, under different relative humidity conditions, the membranes were further tested at 23 C and relative humidity values of 35%, 65%, and 80%. The results of the three pliable membranes show that the vapour resistivity properties varied in a non-linear (dynamic) manner subject to relative humidity. In conclusion, this research demonstrates that regardless of the class, each of the tested membrane types behaved differently under varying relative humidity and pressure gradients within the testing laboratory.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:vapour resistivity, hygrothermal modelling, energy efficient, airtightness, condensation, hygrothermal moisture management, impermeable membrane, diffusion, smart membrane, relative humidity
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Architecture
Research Field:Architectural science and technology
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Energy efficiency
Objective Field:Residential energy efficiency
UTAS Author:Olaoye, TS (Mr Toba Olaoye)
UTAS Author:Dewsbury, M (Dr Mark Dewsbury)
ID Code:147466
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Architecture and Design
Deposited On:2021-11-02
Last Modified:2021-12-16
Downloads:6 View Download Statistics

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