Case Studies

Rooftop Supports

Using Taber's Linear Abraser in a 'Systems' Approach to Component Selection


roof_membranes_v2.jpgFlat roof membranes are widely used to provide leak protection. But frequently the roof must also be used to support pipes, conduits and other types of equipment. Because they are subjected to extreme weather conditions (such as snow, sleet, extreme heat and cold), the materials used in the roof system expand and contract. This movement may generate undesired friction / wear resulting in premature failures or other problems. A manufacturer of pipe and equipment supports recognized this and set out to analyze the wear resistance of different combinations of their support materials and roof membranes. They approached Taber to explore a cost and time effective solution that would mimic wear found in the field.


Due to the time required, field testing was not a practical solution Neither was it convenient or cost effective to introduce temperature extremes to cause expansion and contraction of the roof system. After careful consideration, the customer identified the Taber Linear Abraser as a potential solution.

To quantify the wear resistance, two types of roof membranes were rubbed on four unique support materials. The selected test load was calculated based on the load-carrying capacity of the support system. And test duration was estimated based on a worst case scenario for the expansion and contraction experienced during a 30 year period. Abrasion resistance was measured by mass loss of the roof membrane along with any visible changes in the support material.


The Linear Abraser allowed the customer to simulate the wear that would result during the lifetime of four support materials. By benchmarking the various support materials, the manufacturer was able to quantify the abrasion resistance. This information will allow them to recommend appropriate roof membrane / support material combinations depending on the application. Plus it can be used to establish warranty periods, or for comparison as the customer develops new products or formulations.