Puncture and Passion

Fear of puncture on a single ply roofing system is probably one of the most pervasive issues that owners express their concern over.  And it is understandable considering that any breach in the membrane is sure to allow water to enter the roofing envelope and subsequently the building.  The good news, in the case of FiberTite, is that any damage to the membrane is easily repaired throughout its lifecycle by heat welding new membrane over the damage.

For any single ply, a sharp and or pointed object is going to be able to penetrate it.  That’s why the current variety of puncture and impact testing that is promoted in the industry doesn’t use sharp or pointed objects.  The testing is principally related to either dynamic impact or a static burst test with blunt objects.

Seaman Corporation’s FiberTite Roofing Membranes excel in all these tests but they are difficult to duplicate in an office or board room setting.  Our Toughness Test Kits make a great impression but I’ve always appreciated the dynamics involved with using a very sharp number 2 pencil to demonstrate why the Fiber-is-Tite.  Using our nominal 36-mil FiberTite membrane, the tip of the pencil will penetrate the membrane but the proprietary construction of the fabric and subsequent coating integration prevent the threading of the pencil through the membrane.  Unlike competitive membranes, the yarns in the fabric tighten up and will not allow the propagation of the hole. For competitive membranes, the pencil easily threads all the way through the product even if its 80-mil thick.  In the case with FiberTite, the attempt to force the pencil all the way through leads to breaking the tip of the pencil, which brings me around to my obsession with this little test.

When I was ten or eleven, a group of us at school started flirting with one another by going around and poking one another in the rear end with sharp number 2 pencils.  Girls poked guys and guys poked girls. This went on for a while without incident.  And I had my eye on one particular young lady and our poking was pretty reciprocal but I was competing with my best friend for her attention.  Her seat was over by the pencil sharpener so she was a fairly easy target.

Then one day I was sharpening my pencil to perfection when she returned to her desk.  I snuck behind her and positioned the pencil just as she was sitting down.  And holy crap, the damn thing broke off in her butt.  She was carted off to the ER to have it removed, my father blistered mine with the belt which was bad enough but I had to go apologize to here and her parents and the next thing I knew she was and my best friend were an item.

So, I have an acute sensitivity to puncture in general but when it comes to roofing, you can rest assured that your FiberTite roof is tough enough to handle most abuse whether through negligence, accident or just plain passion.

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About Mr FiberTite

After 10-years in Local 88 out of Canton Ohio, the opportunity to drink the FiberTite Kool Aid came in 1984.  Since then I've been a student as well as a teacher in all manner of roofing with a focus on the engineering, design and installation of thermoplastic single ply roofing systems.  The industry is growing in complexity so there's plenty of opportunity to learn and sharpen your skills no matter who you are.  Hence, one of the most important things I've learned is that "to sharpen the blade, you have to rub steel with steel".


FiberTite® is a Registered Trademark of Seaman Corporation.  The views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of Seaman Corporation.

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