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Explaining the factors behind AQUAPANEL® Cement Board's crack resistance compared to Fiber Cement Board's dimensional stability.

Discover why AQUAPANEL® Cement Boards outperform Fiber Cement in crack prevention. Despite similar properties, AQUAPANEL® excels with wider joints, flexibility, and innovative design.

Dimensional Stability: AQUAPANEL® Cement Board vs. Fiber Cement:

  • Moisture movement and thermal expansion values for dimensional stability may not offer a comprehensive and complete explanation as to why AQUAPANEL® systems are less prone to developing cracks over time compared to fiber cement systems.
  • The thermal expansion and moisture-related values are similar between AQUAPANEL® Cement Boards and Fiber Cement Boards. Consequently, the calculations for board shrinkage and expansion due to temperature and relative humidity changes show comparable results.
  • Fiber Cement Boards usually suggest narrower expansion joint spacing.
  • Whereas, AQUAPANEL® Cement Boards suggest a wider expansion joint spacing:
    • 15 meters for exteriors.
    • 15 meters for interiors, which can be reduced to 7.5 meters when utilizing a PU glue as joint treatment.
  • The Modulus of Elasticity (MOE) of AQUAPANEL® Boards is lower than the MOE of Fiber Cement Boards. This lower MOE offers advantages, since it increases the likelihood that, in cases of relative movement when these boards are attached to other layers like tile finishes, skim coating, or exterior basecoats, any potential cracks would primarily occur within the board itself rather than in the outer visible layer.
  • AQUAPANEL® Boards have a reinforcing glass fiber mesh on both surfaces, embedded within a scrim layer while Fiber Cement boards have a homogeneous composition.
  • Unlike Fiber Cement Boards that snap when stressed (bending), AQUAPANEL® Boards are bendable and break plastically. This characteristic of the AQUAPANEL® stands out as a key selling point of these boards, offering architects the freedom to design walls with a seamless and curved finish in both directions.
  • The AQUAPANEL® Joint Filler solution consists of 3 to 5mm gap between boards with a coated glass fiber mesh embedded along the joint, this joint treatment solution ensures similar behavior during temperature and moisture-related movements as observed within the boards. In contrast, Fiber Cement Boards are assembled with butt joints and treated with a proprietary system, like gypsum boards.
  • Due to the properties mentioned above, when exposed to temperature changes and moisture movements, AQUAPANEL® Boards primarily experience movements within the board itself. Consequently, edge movements are minimal compared to Fiber Cement Boards. This, combined with the recommended joint treatment by AQUAPANEL®, significantly reduces the likelihood of visible cracks, both within the board area and along the joints.
  • To illustrate this behavior, consider reinforced concrete. Even though concrete may experience shrinkage or expansion, the rebar prevents or minimizes these effects. A similar principle applies to AQUAPANEL® Boards, where the core acts as concrete, and the embedded mesh on both surfaces functions as the rebar.