The European Construction Products Regulation (CPR, 2011/305/EU) sets basic requirements (BR) on how construction works must be designed and built. BR 3 “hygiene, health, and the environment” states low emissions of toxic gases, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), particles, etc. from building materials. Meanwhile, a worldwide network of professional commercial and non-commercial laboratories performing emission tests for the evaluation of products for interior use has been established. Comparability of test results must therefore be ensured. One possible route is to conduct testing of one material in different laboratories within a round robin test (RRT), ideally using homogeneous reference materials.
It has become obvious that a major problem of such comparisons is the lack of reference materials with known emission rates of target substances. In recent years, BAM has organized RRTs on the quality control of the VOC emission testing procedure employing test chambers and VOC analysis according to the established testing standards ISO 16000-9 and ISO 16000-6. This paper reports on the international RRT carried out in 2014 with more than 50 participants. The laboratories had to identify and quantify VOC emissions from a test material with their own test facilities. For this purpose, a reference sample based on a lacquer system and developed by BAM was used. It consisted of a clear, glossy water-based lacquer proven to have inherently low VOC emissions. Common VOCs (in pure form) typically found in building materials emissions were added to the liquid lacquer. In this international RRT the homogeneity and reproducibility of the reference material could be shown. It is therefore an important contribution to quality assurance and, hence, consumer protection.
Application of a novel reference material in an international round robin test on material emissions testing
Wolfgang Horn, Matthias Richter, M. Nohr, Olaf Wilke, Oliver Jann
Indoor Air, Volume 28, Issue 1, January 2018, Pages 181–187
BAM Department Materials and the Environment, Division Materials and Air Pollutants