A broad spectrum of microorganisms can grow on different materials, which may lead to an unsightly appearance or hygiene problems. This can be prevented by using alternative building materials that are less sensitive, or even insensitive, to microbial growth under the temperature and humidity conditions prevailing on the surface. Our experts have a variety of methods and facilities at their disposal to assess the resistance of materials to biological attack. These range from simple stress tests and standard procedures to complex tests using specially-developed facilities where highly-realistic test conditions can be created.
In our accelerated weathering facility, building materials such as external thermal insulation composite systems (ETICS) can be exposed to climatic conditions that promote the growth of microorganisms, for example condensation cycles or artificial rainfall. We also apply microorganisms relevant to the respective problem to these materials.
With the aid of simulations, we can estimate whether construction methods tend to support microbial growth under the prevailing climatic conditions. In order to do this, specific material characteristics must be known. These include the general tendency for growth to occur on a material or building product, which is an essential parameter. Our mold test facility enables us to assess materials in this regard. Since we are able to investigate up to twelve different climates at the same time, the suitability of a material for different applications and climatic zones can be demonstrated in a single test run.
Our test facilities also permit research into biological solutions to growth problems. For example, certain organisms that are not harmful to health can keep unwanted organisms away from surfaces.