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Unread 06-05-2010, 02:40 PM   #1
e3
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Standard for UNCOUPLING

As request---what would you guys like to see in a Standard for Uncoupling membranes?
some sort of performance levels..
at what point does it uncouple? what does that mean? I know it says limit the transfer of stess but what does that mean to you??should it come loose from the floor??
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Unread 06-05-2010, 03:01 PM   #2
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Lemme start by borrowing my comments from the other thread where you tried to bring this up:

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Originally Posted by CX
That's gonna be a difficult thing to test and to quantify, Eric, as I'm sure you're well aware since I know you've been working on it for some time.

I think the only way we're gonna arrive at any sort of standard is to devise a test, then subject various installations to the test to get a feel for what can and has been accomplished.

The test jig is gonna need to be of pretty substantial size, seems to me. Large enough to allow testing of an installation of tiles rather than a single tile bonded to a small surface such as is done with shear bond or the current crack isolation.

And, as you suggest, we must then decide what is an acceptable result. Just what is uncoupling protecting our installation against, and how will we know if it has done so? I think the record from historic installations is clear that the concept is sound and has proven successful, but compared to what? And how successful has one method or material been as compared to others?
Seems like it would be easier, and perhaps more realistic, to determine what currently available materials can provide before we try to write a standard for performance.

I think the test would need to be based upon shear, primarily because I think it would be too complicated to devise a test that would provide realistic changes in shape of the tile installation or of the substrate. But maybe I'm wrong about that.

But perhaps something in the neighborhood of a four by four-foot test bed where the substrate could be moved up to a quarter inch or so while the tile installation is held in place. Or vice versa. Don't know how realistic that would actually be, but perhaps it will start the discussion.

I don't think the membrane should separate from the substrate nor from the tile installation.

I don't think the tile installation should fail in any way under such testing.

I think the first testing should be done with a properly prepared sand bed as in the ancient installations after which our modern membranes are presumably modeled.

Once we find out what is a realistic expectation, we should be able to assign meaningful performance standards. Or perhaps determine that no such standard is necessary or useful?

Tricky subject, this, seems to moi.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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Uncouple (by description) to me means it will separate allowing for full independant movement..to separate internally within the membrane. And I don't know of any membrane that can do that.

"Absorbing stress" internally should not be called "uncoupling" since it really does not uncouple. That would mean that any flexible membrane could be called "uncoupling" by definition.

Having a cleavage zone is not the same thing either. If it was then mud/lath and cbu/unmodified would both be considered as uncoupling systems.

Back in the nineties when Ditra was uni-directional dovetails the schluter rep said it was made to separate from the substrate in extreme situations ie that web backing would stay on the floor...never seen it myself but was told that. now if the present Ditra does that then yes it would be uncoupling..but I don't know that it actually does that..and if it does could it actually do so without messing up the tile? Then that would be what we call a "failure".

I don't believe Ditra and similar mats should be classes the same as Noble ts and similar flat membranes and they should have there own class. But I do think "uncoupling" is a deceiving misnomer.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 03:37 PM   #4
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In regard to Cx post, my understanding is that crack isolation membranes are tested by pulling the mock substrate apart and measuring the point the tile breaks..also seems to me that 1/8 is pretty common.

Now other the slab cracks I don't think this test is very applicable.

Now installing a section of floor as Cx mentioned and pushing the tile to breaking point may be a good test of how a product can deal over wood substate with expansion I don't know if the test would be better to hold the tile down as cx mentioned to prevent popping or to let it pop and measure how far it went before it popped?

A test like this would also be affected(or confused) by bond strength..but then again since it would be a combination of bond
and shear perhaps it would be a more accurate method of testing a product rather then just focusing on one aspect like shear.

But thats still only one test
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Unread 06-05-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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agree in full jim

i feel the same about words like sealer,hydrophobic,and deflection.....
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Unread 06-05-2010, 04:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC
I don't know if the test would be better to hold the tile down as cx mentioned to prevent popping or to let it pop and measure how far it went before it popped?
CX was not advocating holding the tile installation "down," Jim, merely preventing horizontal movement as the substrate was caused to move. Or, as I said, vice-versa.

Deflection is easy quite to quantify, Jason. I'll agree that the other terms can be a bit nebulous, though. As is uncoupling, which is why Eric is bringing it up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JC
"Absorbing stress" internally should not be called "uncoupling" since it really does not uncouple. That would mean that any flexible membrane could be called "uncoupling" by definition.
Again, that's the kind of thing Eric is trying to sort out here. I, for one, think "Absorbing stress" is precisely what we're discussing here.

But I agree that any flexible membrane can be said to be an uncoupling membrane. What is needed is quantification of that "action."

The membrane and its installation pookey must also still meet the necessary compression standards, of course.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
CX was not advocating holding the tile installation "down," Jim, merely preventing horizontal movement as the substrate was caused to move. Or, as I said, vice-versa.
O I C, I was thinking more like just pushing the 4 ft. tile assembly with something. I guess thats the same thing as moving the substrate.

Quote:
cx,But I agree that any flexible membrane can be said to be an uncoupling membrane. What is needed is quantification of that "action."
Now I think instead of trying to quantify the action we need to first separate Ditra and similar mats from single layer flexible membranes.I mean it is a different class since Ditra etc. is used like a cbu rather then just crack suppression and waterproofing..it adds strength if you will.

I just think there could be a better name for this class of membranes rather then the seemingly proprietory "uncoupling"(is that trademarked?) ..don't know what though...multi-layered membranes?

Then appropriate test can be devised so we will be comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges. IMHO
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Unread 06-05-2010, 05:49 PM   #8
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One that is bad azz, superior to any product currently on the market where price is no object. Just get it done and people will buy. Think overkill, keep it as thin as possible and try and make it without waffles
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Unread 06-05-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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Guys, the question is what you would like to see included in a standard for an "uncoupling membrane" and what testing to determine compliance.

I told Eric if he started a new thread for the question we'd keep the discussion on his question, so let's please try to do that.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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Maybe it would be more helpful for some of us(me included) to know a little more background on how this proposal is being developed. What are the current thoughts and ideas and pitfalls??
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Unread 06-05-2010, 06:52 PM   #11
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I think you force a 4X4 test section of tile a quarter-inch in any direction you're gonna cause it to fail one way or another. Most failures in real life are caused by less than a sixteenth. But anyway, since the TCA way is to cause the test sample to fail, why not just do a bunch of tests and see where failure generally occurs? Then write your standard.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
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I agree, John. I wouldn't expect the installation to survive that much movement, I'm just suggesting the test apparatus be capable of that much. Just in case, eh?

And most materials testing is based upon test to failure, I'd expect that to be the only real way to establish any sort of guideline for this one. There are enough materials on the market that deal with the sort of "uncoupling" we're talking about, including a couple of Eric's, that we aughta be able to sort out the capabilities pretty quickly once we establish what we're looking for.

The establishing what we're looking for is the first big hurdle, though, eh? And, I believe, the basis for Eric's questions. Just what constitutes a failure in this category?
Quote:
Originally Posted by JC
Maybe it would be more helpful for some of us(me included) to know a little more background on how this proposal is being developed. What are the current thoughts and ideas and pitfalls??
Treat it like there isn't any background nor any current thoughts, Jim, 'cause I suspect there really aren't any.

Keep in mind that there wasn't even a standard for crack isolation products until very recently and there had been products claiming that capability for many years. Lots of products, no standard. Think we're there again, but with fewer products and a lot less knowledge of just what we're quantifying.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 07:27 PM   #13
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Well, I have something to think about tonight while i try to fall to sleep.

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Unread 06-05-2010, 08:58 PM   #14
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To me, uncoupling = crack isolation w/o the crack. So, for starters, same test as crack isolation; failure at 1/16 or 1/8 for high performance.

If all the uncouplers pass high performance with flying colors, go up to 3/16 or 1/4 or whatever.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 10:19 PM   #15
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I like what has been said above about "uncoupling" as minimizing or reducing stress transmitted to the tile assembly.

One issue that would seem to complicate things is that this tile assembly is going to be subjected to stress of different types based on whats its installed over. These uncoupling products go over concrete, mud beds, wood framed floors, etc, and I think the testing would have to address that in some way. The stress created in a deflecting wood floor is different than the stress generated in a concrete slab cracking.
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