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Tests prove effectiveness of Activ’Air linings

Jason Hird our Senior Technical Development Manager on Activ'Air Technology

Following the launch of groundbreaking new plasterboard, designed to remove health-damaging pollutants from indoor air, Jason Hird, Senior Technical Development Manager at Gyproc Middle East, reports on recent tests that prove its effectiveness in permanently removing 70% of airborne formaldehyde concentrations.

To answer the growing problem of pollution-linked health problems in offices, schools, hospitals and similar buildings, Saint-Gobain central research has developed a groundbreaking new technology, designed to actively remove much of the formaldehyde concentration present in indoor air, which is known to be a major cause of health issues.

The new technology has already been applied to a range of plasterboard wall and ceiling lining products currently available from Dubai-based Gyproc Middle East, a member of the Saint-Gobain worldwide group.

The new technology revolves around a patented mineral-based additive in the plasterboard core that ‘captures’ volatile organic compounds in polluted air and converts them into harmless inert aldehyde compounds.

Activ'Air Logo

Initial tests proved the effectiveness of the Activ’Air technology, but we were concerned to justify claims concerning both the long term performance of plasterboard products containing the new technology, and to quantify the amount of formaldehyde-based pollutants that would be removed.

Formaldehyde reduction is based on experimental data following ISO16000-23 standards form 0.4m2 to 1.4m2 installed/m3room. Lifetime is calculated assuming linear performance with indoor formaldehyde concentration of 25µg/m3 covering ceiling, wall and combined configurations.

A series of tests were therefore commissioned at the Saint-Gobain research centre in Vaujours, France, which would replicate actual room conditions.

Two identical life-size sterile rooms were constructed, each with a volume of 33m3.The rooms were lined to three walls with plasterboard – the only difference being that the plasterboards in room 2 contained the special Activ’Air additive.

Air was drawn from outside and conditioned in an airlock to 23oC and 50% relative humidity before being pumped into the test rooms at a constant air exchange rate of 1 volume/hour. Conditions within the two rooms were therefore know to be identical.

Two identical cupboards, constructed in Oriented Strand Board (OSB), a known emitter of formaldehyde gas, were introduced into the rooms to increase the formaldehyde concentrations present in the air. 

Tests were then carried out over a period of 2.5 months to measure the ongoing concentration of airborne formaldehyde in each room.

The tests showed that the Activ’Air lining in room 2 began to reduce the formaldehyde concentration within 1 hour of the test commencing and continued to work throughout the 2.5 month test with no reduction in effectiveness throughout the period. The level of Formaldehyde concentration in Room 2 was reduced by 70% over that in the control room, sufficient to reduce and permanently maintain the typical 30ug/m3 airborne formaldehyde concentration to below the recommended 10ug/m3 threshold.

These tests have proved beyond doubt that Activ’Air plasterboards, currently available as wallboards and perforated acoustic ceiling products, are effective in permanently reducing pollution levels within buildings. They can be redecorated without any adverse effect on their absorption performance and require no maintenance once installed, unlike mechanical air filtering systems, which require constant maintenance to ensure ongoing effectiveness.

Contact us for Further information on the current range and performance of Activ’Air products, and copies of the latest test results.

Gyproc Customer Centre Toll free 800 497762