The introduction of the new EN standards for cement-based tile adhesives which is making new demands on tile adhesive producers. Standardisation of the norms involves more stringent testing, as well as specific classifications for different tile adhesive qualities, which results in a real challenge in meeting the standards.
Included in the EN 12004 standard are two cement-based tile adhesive classifications: C1 which outlines general requirements, and C2 which describes improved or additional characteristics.These set out the minimum requirements for improved adhesion after 28 days at room temperature and under heat, water and freeze/thaw storage conditions. They also stipulate optional requirements for fast setting, reduced slip and extended open time. Sand and cement are the main constituents of cement-bonded, thin-bed adhesives and determine the properties to a large extent.
However, no tile adhesive which can be applied by the thin-bed procedure is formulated with sand and cement alone. Numerous additives enable an endless range of variations in processing and end properties to satisfy the wishes of the end user.
The need to be able to compare and to classify this enormous variety of products has existed for a long time. «Flexible adhesive», «standard adhesive» and «fluidized bed mortar» are all examples of attempts to categorise these products. However, it has often been the case that each region, each country or even each manufacturer, used different terminology. After much debate, the initiative for the regulation of adhesive mortars was finally agreed earlier this year, and with EN 12004 coming into effect, the quality requirements for cement-based tile adhesives will now be standardised Europe-wide, replacing conflicting national standards.
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