Fields of research
In research, theory and practice are very close to each other. Therefore, the employees of the Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft are in constant contact with the production and always consider the practical application in their work. At the two sites in Emstal and Brück near Berlin, the areas of product and process research, application research / building physics and the accredited testing center form the core topics of the technology and research activities.
Product and process research
In the field of product and process research at the Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft, innovative products and alternative technologies and processes are researched and applied.
Basic research, technical center, product development
Anyone who wants to optimize building materials must understand the structures inside them. Therefore, the product properties can only be developed with intensive basic research.
In the pilot plant, for example, we selectively manipulate the porosity and crystal phases, which are largely responsible for the attributes of the finished building material.
New formulations and innovative approaches for lime sandstone, mineral insulation panels and aerated concrete are used in product development. For example, aerated concrete granules are tested for various properties such as water absorption, oil retention capacity, filling volume, dust generation during use, bulk density and odour-generating capabilities.
With around 300 m³ experimental aerated concrete from large-scale experimental casting, the team of the Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft provide a smooth production transfer of new products each year.
Raw material investigation and structure elucidation
Product and process research also includes the regular examination of the raw materials used worldwide, because after all, the most important prerequisite for the production of high-quality building materials is the quality of the raw materials used. In addition, in order to gain information about the internal structure of the material, aerated concrete, sand-lime brick and mineral insulation panels are being tested in qualitative and quantitative phase studies using the X-ray diffraction method. X-ray diffraction - XRD).
Application Research / Building Physics
The Application Research / Building Physics department investigates new products based on normative or internally defined testing procedures. The aim is to test the components and construction systems in terms of their durability and load capacity as well as their application safety in practice. On this basis, releases are granted for their production and use. Appropriate device technology is available for the test methods and procedures used (many of which are accredited).
Quite a testing field: Heat, frost, humidity, wind pressure and wind suction - the application research department investigates how our building materials withstand maximum loads. In complex test procedures, the building materials are exposed to extreme external influences and simulations of stresses, such as in the case of an earthquake.
In addition, the department is involved in the development and testing of new components and building systems, such as building materials and the associated assembly and anchoring systems. As soon as new products have proven their suitability in the stringent tests, the Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft obtains all necessary national and European technical regulations.
Whether it is the reduction of energy losses through thermal bridges, suitability tests of plasters and mortars or investigations on sound and fire protection as well as heat and moisture protection: The Xella Technology and Research Center conducts a large number of checks each year to ensure quality of living and health. This ensures the quality of our building materials and the materials used.
For example, since 2004 we have been operating a test facility for acoustic tests on walls. In addition to single- or double-skin walls in solid construction, drywall walls, noise barriers or supplementary products can also be tested here.
To ensure that the outstanding fire protection properties of aerated concrete and multi-pore mineral insulation panels remain intact, our fire testing center examines how long our components and systems withstand extreme heat.
In addition, the physical relationship between thermal insulation, building materials and moisture transport or accumulation in thermal component or building simulations is regularly examined and evaluated. For this we develop and expand the appropriate software solutions for the determination of the heat energy demand of buildings and for the detailed planning to minimize thermal bridges.
Accredited testing laboratory
Our accredited test center monitors and ensures the mechanical and physical properties of Xella products and is responsible for quality control, building material testing and compliance with the Construction Products Regulation for the European market.
Accredited test methods
The written confirmation from the highest authority confirms: Our tests in the laboratories and test rooms are reliable, safe and correct. In 2011, the German Accreditation Body (DAkkS) granted accreditation to Xella Technologie- und Forschungsgesellschaft, putting it on a par with internationally renowned and independent testing institutes.
Accredited test methods include mechanical, technological and physical testing of construction products. With their help, all relevant properties of the construction materials aerated concrete, sand-lime brick and mineral insulation panels produced by Xella can be examined at the testing center.
Determining the dry bulk density and the moisture content are just as important as the determination of the tensile and compressive strength and the behaviour under bending stress.
Thermal conductivity is an important parameter with regard to the construction of energy-efficient buildings. Furthermore, the water absorption of aerated concrete and mineral insulation panels is determined and the frost and thaw resistance of sand-lime brick is also tested. In addition to building materials, other products are under scrutiny, such as reinforced steels and their resistance to corrosion.