The durability of ceramic tiles depends fundamentally on the cycles of ice and thaw in the area in which they are installed, especially when in outside spaces. Therefore, the CE mark of quality for construction materials demands compliance with certain tests to demonstrate the durability of the tiles in areas or geographic regions where temperatures lower than -5ºC are recorded at least five days of the year.
All technical porcelain flooring by Urbatek and XLight large format extra fine ceramic coverings are subject to testing based on these regulations to guarantee the resistance of their materials in the most adverse climatic conditions, even meeting the standards required by regulatory principles such as ISO 10545-12 and EN 14411.
These tests involve vacuum impregnation of the tiles, submitting them to cycles of freezing and thawing. After this process, it is observed whether damage has been caused on the surface and sides of the material with cracks, holes or chips, checking the number of deteriorated tiles.
Not satisfied with simply fulfilling these standards, the Urbatek quality department subjects its products to more demanding tests, which also consider other phenomena from a real environment, following the method adopted in regulation ISO 10545-3 to determine the absorption of water, using vacuum impregnation of 100mbars, instead of the 600mbars of ISO 10545-12. In this way, more reliable results on the Urbatek and XLight collections of technical porcelain’s resistance to freezing are gained.
Taking this into account, PORCELANOSA Group has sent a proposal to the European Standardisation Committee to replace the ISO 10545-12 method of impregnation by regulation ISO 10545-3. This petition is awaiting approval to be included in a future update of regulation EN 14411 or in ISO 13006, which currently recommend using ceramic tiles of very low porosity (AIa and BIa), such as the full-mass technical porcelain by Urbatek and the XLight porcelain tiles, for outdoor areas likely to freeze.
Thus, the tests carried out show that the floorings and coverings from Urbatek and XLight are totally safe for installation in outdoor areas with extreme meteorological conditions, both in its enamelled and non enamelled versions.