To ensure a high quality product that is suited to its intended application and environmental conditions BSMART performs a wide range of quality tests on its products. BSMART operates its own in-house materials testing facility, to develop new trial products and to undertake ongoing batch testing of its proven product range.
Where independent certification of product quality is sought BSMART products are also submitted for testing to an independent NATA accredited laboratory.
The following tests are some of the important tests undertaken by BSMART to give reliable information about the likely performance of a product in the field.
Resistance to Salt Attack - AS/NZS 4456.10
The presence of salt in an environment can have significant damaging effects on both bricks and pavers. In some situations pavers can be attacked by salts from ground water, swimming pools, bore water sprinklers.
Bricks too can be the subject of salt attack in coastal regions due to wind spray and where proper damp proof courses have not been included in the construction of a dwelling where there may be salty water present in soils.
Laboratory test are undertaken to simulate the conditions which can cause damage from salt attack. Bricks and pavers are classified from Exposure Grade, to Protected, depending on the amount of mass that is lost when subject to this test in the laboratory. The Bsmart range includes specific products with high salt resistance where salt exposure may be an issue.
Determining dimensional deviations - AS/NZS 4456.3
It is important for ease of laying bricks and pavers, and for the final look of an installed product, that deviations in the dimensions of a batch of products are kept to a minimum. This test involves a simple process of measuring the variations of a sample of specimens that are representative of a batch to determine those variations. Some deviation will always be inevitable of course, and it will be question of keeping that deviation to a minimum.
Potential to effloresce - AS/NZS 4456.6
Efflorescence refers to the build up of salts on the surface of a brick or paver which affects the visual appearance of an installed product. It appears as a cloudy, usually off-white discolouration on the surface of a brick or paver. The salts can come from salty water which the product has come into contact with, such as groundwater, or from within the clay soils used to make the paver itself. Often efflorescence on the surface of a product is only temporary, however while it is there, it affects the aesthetic quality of the product. This test indicates whether efflorescence will occur as a result of the salts already present in the product.
Water absorption - AS/NZS 4456.14
This test is undertaken to determine the porosity of pavers and gives an indication of the amount of moisture that a brick or paver is likely to absorb over a period of time. The amount of water absorbed by a brick or paver, generally speaking, can be used as a simple method of obtaining an indication of the extent to which a product will resist salt attack and other problems caused by the entry of water into the product such as efflorescence.
Co-efficients of expansion and contraction - AS/NZS 4456.11 & 4456.12
These tests are undertaken to determine the amount by which a brick or paver is likely to expand and contract during wetting and drying phases. Bsmart bricks and pavers tend not to expand or contract in the way that ordinary clay-fired products do over time. It is none-the-less important that the expanding and contracting properties of a product are assured so that brick layers can use appropriate measures, such as expansion joints, to allow for this naturally occurring phenomenon.
Breaking load - AS/NZS 4456.5
This test measures the amount of force required to break a paver in half when a force is applied across the middle of it. It is an important test that indicates a paver's ability to withstand forces applied during transport and laying, and from the traffic passing over them.
Pavers that are to be used in an industrial, commercial or other high volume traffic areas need to be able to withstand a large breaking load, especially where heavy vehicles are involved. Lower breaking loads are adequate for residential purposes and low volume traffic areas. The Bsmart range offers products suitable for a range of applications.
Abrasion resistance - AS/NZS 4456.9
This very important test for pavers gives an indication of a pavers ability to withstand abrasive forces. These are frictional forces applied at angles to the paver which have the effect of wearing down the paver surface. Many pavers, although demonstrating an excellent capacity to withstand breaking and crushing, can demonstrate a weakness when subjected to abrasive frictional forces. Bsmart takes great care in the product development stages to ensure that its pavers have excellent abrasion resistance.
Slip resistance - AS/NZS 4586 Appendix A
This test indicates how slippery a paved surface is likely to be - and is an important test for obvious reasons. The test takes on particular importance when paved surface is intended to be laid on a slope, such as a ramp. BSMART pavers are classified V under this test which means that they have a 'Very High' slip resistance'.