Structural Test Laboratory
A structural test facility has been in existence at East Leake for over 25 years and the facility was purpose built in 1987 in order to test and evaluate the strength and robustness of lightweight building techniques. The test laboratory features a main test rig which can accommodate test specimens up to 14.5m high.
The assessment programme comprises a series of tests which examine the partition systems suitability for a given partition duty. Each test method is specific for the duty grade required and has strict acceptance criteria.
The four duty rating grades are:
Light Duty – Domestic accommodation
Medium Duty – Office Accommodation
Heavy Duty – Public circulation areas, Hospitals
Severe Duty – Major circulation areas, Heavy Industrial areas
Test carried out to obtain a duty rating include:
Partition Stiffness – A point load is applied to the partition and the maximum deflection together with any residual damage recorded.
Hard body impacts – Two levels of impact are applied to the partition, firstly to assess the resistance to damage of the partition lining and the second to assess the resistance to perforation.
Soft Body Impacts – Two levels of impact are applied, the firstly to assess the resistance to aesthetic damage and the second to assess the resistance to structural damage.
Door slamming – A door built within the partition system is mechanically slammed for the deformation and damage on the partition system assessed.
Additional test which may be carried out include:
Crowd Pressure – A line load is applied to the partition and the partition’s ability to resist the load assessed.
Heavyweight anchorage – Wall cupboard and wash basin
Lightweight anchorage – Pull out and pull down.
Racking resistance refers to the stiffness contribution offered by an internal wall when subject to wind loading.
The panel is 2.4m x 2.4m and is bolted down into the test frame. The panel needs to resist the applied racking load without lifting or deflecting in the direction of the racking load. The test can be conducted with or without an axial load applied to the panel.
Uniformed distributed load (UDL)
The Building Test Centre is able to offer UKAS accredited positive or negative pressure testing on partitions up to a height of 6m. The rig applies a uniformly distributed load over the surface of the partition allowing the bending stiffness characteristics of the partition system to be evaluated.
The rig has been used to establish the maximum heights for partition systems.
Laboratory Structural Measurement
The laboratory is accredited for the following structural test methods:
BS 5234: Part 2:1992 – Partitions (including matching linings) — Part 2: Specification for performance requirements for strength and robustness including methods of test.
BS EN 594:2011 – Timber structures – Test methods – Racking strength and stiffness of timber frame wall panels.
Uniformed distributed load (UDL) – Documented In-House Method UDL AP 085 vs 8
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