Moisture testing and climate-related material behavior

© Fraunhofer IBP
© Fraunhofer IBP

Test set-up to determine the capillary activity of insulation materials.

Hygrothermal properties – material behavior under moisture load conditions
© Fraunhofer IBP

The moisture research laboratory has been granted flexible accreditation by Germany’s national accreditation body DAkkS (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. Its testing portfolio enables determination of the following characteristics:

  • Water vapor diffusion parameters
  • (μ-value, sd-value)
  • Capillary water absorption (A-value)
  • Reference moisture content (U80 )
  • Sorption isotherm and moisture retention curve
  • Capillary transport coefficients
  • Bulk density and porosity
  • Thermal and hygric length variations

The entire range of hygric parameters required for hygrothermal simulations relating to materials can therefore be determined by the laboratory. Work on a standardized method for evaluating the drying behavior of building materials, or to determine the surface moisture of façades, illustrate how methods are modified or newly developed during research projects.

The following tests are performed to investigate aging behavior and durability of materials:



Projects & Know-How


Drying behavior of screed products

Before a new floor covering can be laid, allowing the building to be used as before, the screed has to be replaced or dried. To determine the drying rates of different screed products, researchers at Fraunhofer IBP have conducted numerous laboratory tests to establish the material characteristics of numerous screed products and their drying behavior.



Capillary-active interior insulation

In many cases, the only way to improve a building’s thermal protection is to install interior insulation. The standard way to avoid condensation forming on the back of the insulation is to fit a vapor retarder or moisture barrier to the insulation on the side facing the building’s interior. The catch is that this gets in the way of the insulation drying out in dry weather.



Numerical simulation of wood-based products

Funded by the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF), the project aims to generate hygrothermal KPIs of wood-based products for numerical simulations.



Rendering of external walls

The use of render on external walls is an ancient craft based on traditional methods that have been handed down over the centuries and mainly make use of locally sourced construction materials, binders and additives. It wasn’t until 100 years ago or so that the first attempts at standardization were made and rendering became a subject of scientific research.


Drying behavior of masonry units

Before occupants of buildings affected by water damage can safely return to their homes, they have to wait until the walls have completely dried out. To predict how long this will take, and to choose the best drying methods for different wall structures, researchers at Fraunhofer IBP have conducted laboratory tests on numerous different types of masonry units.

Contact us

Cornelia Fitz

Contact Press / Media

Dr. Cornelia Fitz

Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP
Fraunhoferstr. 10
83626 Valley, Germany

Phone +49 8024 643-224

Fax +49 8024 643-366