Mold test facility

Facility for evaluating resistance to microbial growth.
© Fraunhofer IBP/Nielsen
Facility for evaluating resistance to microbial growth.

Determining the tendency of surfaces to support growth in the mold test facility

Our experts use the mold test facility to assess the general tendency of materials or building products to support growth. Tests are performed under controlled boundary conditions in the form of so-called isopleths. Temperature and humidity can be varied as required. If necessary, the isopleth data can also be used in later hygrothermal simulations (e.g. WUFI®). The facility enables monolithic (cohesive) materials as well as granular (grained) samples, fibers or material composites to be studied.

Depending on the test set-up used, materials can be exposed to twelve different climates simultaneously. As a result, we can reliably assess the suitability of a particular material for different applications and climate zones. The tests show at which temperatures and levels of humidity a material or composite material is resistant to mold growth. This in turn also determines in which hygienically-critical applications the tested material can be used safely.

At the start of the test, the relevant microorganisms (molds and/or algae) are applied once only to the respective test piece. Our experts then visually assess the rate of growth of algae and molds on the materials at regular intervals. There is no risk of contamination because  the containers with the samples do not have to be opened to do this. Tests generally run for 100 days. Climatic conditions are kept constant and recorded continuously throughout the test.