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Standardization and Metrology: Collaboration on thermal performance for protection materials (EMRP SIB52)

Ensuring a fast uptake of new findings from metrology into measurement standards is important for safety and innovation in society and industry. Two bodies further developing this collaboration are the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and EURAMET. EURAMET’s current European Metrology Research Programme (EMRP) offers possibilities for collaboration.

European members of CEN’s Technical Committee 89 on ‘Thermal performance of buildings and building components’ have voted to endorse Decision 517/2013, which proposed that CEN would collaborate with the Consortium of EMRP joint research project (JRP) ‘Metrology for Thermal Protection Materials’ (SIB52).

The EMRP project on high temperature thermal conductivity metrology for protection materials will help build confidence in novel thermal protection materials for industry. Recent advances in thermal protection include the development of polymers, aerogels and fibrous based composite systems. These new materials are thinner, lighter and stronger, and provide a thermal performance several times better, than conventional insulation materials. However, it is difficult to evaluate their performance.

Measurements of thermal conductivity can produce scatter of over 100 % for these new types of material. This leads to a lack of confidence and investment from manufacturers, an inability to demonstrate performance for certification and, consequently, means that industry has to use costly full-scale testing during the development of aerospace components, fire safety systems and process plants, for example.

EMRP JRP SIB52 started in June 2013 and will establish a framework for measurements of thermal conductivity in order to improve industrial measurement techniques up to 800 °C. This will enable designers of fire engineering and transportation safety systems to select the best performing thermal protection materials, helping to reduce the rate of industrial disasters and, ultimately, to save lives.

The decision made by the European members of CEN/TC 89 to collaborate on this EMRP project means that the knowledge generated will be directly disseminated to the new measurement standards of CEN/TC 89.

For more information on the project please go to http://www.euramet.org/index.php?id=emrp_call_2012

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