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Laboratory measurement and boundary conditions for the water vapour resistivity properties of typical Australian impermeable and smart pliable membranes

Olaoye, TS ORCID: 0000-0003-2773-9043, Dewsbury, M ORCID: 0000-0002-3607-3637 and Kunzel, H 2021 , 'Laboratory measurement and boundary conditions for the water vapour resistivity properties of typical Australian impermeable and smart pliable membranes' , Buildings, vol. 11, no. 11 , pp. 1-29 , doi:

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The duo of better insulated and more air-tight envelopes without appropriate considerationof water vapour diffusion and envelope moisture management has often demonstrated an increased potential of moisture accumulation, interstitial condensation, and mould growth within the building envelope. To inform a resilient, energy efficient, and healthy building design, long-term transient hygrothermal modelling are required. Since 2008, concern has been raised to the Australian building regulators regarding the need to establish the vapour diffusion properties of construction materials, in order to develop a hygrothermal regulatory framework. This paper discusses the results from laboratory testing of the vapour diffusion properties of two common reflective pliable membranes, and one smart pliable membrane. The two reflective pliable membranes are often used within the exterior walls of Australian buildings. The smart pliable membrane is a relatively new, internationally available product. The three membranes were tested as per ISO 12,572 at 23 ◦C and 50% RH. To establish if the vapour resistivity properties were constant, under different relative humidity conditions, the membranes were further tested at 23 ◦C and relative humidity values of 35%, 65%, and 80%. The results of the three pliable membranes show that the vapour resistivity properties varied in a non-linear (dynamic) manner subject to relative humidity. In conclusion, this research demonstrates that regardless of the class, each of the tested membrane types behaved differentlyunder varying relative humidity and pressure gradients within the testing laboratory.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Olaoye, TS and Dewsbury, M and Kunzel, H
Keywords: vapour resistivity, hygrothermal modelling, energy efficient, airtightness, condensation, hygrothermal moisture management, impermeable membrane, diffusion, smart membrane, relative humidity
Journal or Publication Title: Buildings
Publisher: MDPI AG
ISSN: 2075-5309
DOI / ID Number:
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2021 by the authors.Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.This article is an open access articledistributed under the terms andconditions of the Creative CommonsAttribution (CC BY) license (

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