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Influence of climate

Influence of climate icon
  • Moisture, heat and microbiological activity affect the ceiling
  • Too high relative humidity is not comfortable for people
  • Special panels and accessories should be used in aggressive environments
The core material in all Ecophon tiles is glass wool that has been treated to be water-repellent. Therefore, the material does not take up water by capillary action and the absorption of moisture from the air is relatively low. Water that occasionally may penetrate the tiles (e.g. in conjunction with cleaning) dries out quickly thanks to the open structure of the glass wool material.
Functional demands, Influence of climate, illustration
1. Deflection of ceiling tiles that are deformed after absorbing moisture.
2. Glass wool is one of the materials most resistant to moisture. Thus, glass wool ceiling tiles are dimensionally stable and stay flat even in environments with high or varying air humidity.
Also Ecophon Connect grids and accessories are developed to withstand high humidity.
  • Ecophon products should be stored indoors. If, temporarily, they have to be stored outdoors, they need to be protected against moisture.
  • If the tiles are to be glued, the temperature must be 15-25°C during installation.
  • The panels do have a thermal resistance. This may influence the temperature and the relative humidity in the room and in the plenum, and should therefore be considered in the moisture and thermo-technical design. Ventilating the plenum will prevent condensation. 

 Temperature, absolute humidity and relative humidity (RH)

The relative air humidity varies depending on the time of year, temperature and climatic zone.
Relative humidity RH, expressed in %, is the ratio of the actual amount of moisture in the air to the maximum amount of moisture the air can hold at a given temperature. A relative humidity of 100% means the air can hold no more water, i.e. condensation forms, and a relative humidity of 0% indicates there is no moisture in the air.
At high relative humidity, there is a serious risk of condensation, because of the temperature difference over the ceiling. At 95% RH and 30°C, a temperature drop of only 1°C will cause condensation. The presence of liquid water might have many undesired effects, such as stains from water-soluble substances on the visible surface of the ceiling.
There is a physical relationship between absolute humidity, temperature and relative humidity. The warmer the air, the more water vapour it can hold. In other words - a certain absolute humidity means a lower relative humidity at a high temperature than at a low. (See graph).
Functional demands, Influence of climate, illustration
1. Absolute humidity (g/m3)
2. Temperature (°C)
3. RH
Relationship between temperature, absolute humidity and relative humidity.

Ceiling design for humid areas  

In order to minimise the risk of problems with corrosion, mould and aesthetic performance in a building, the relative humidity should not exceed 70-80% more than temporarily. In any case, it is not comfortable for people to be in environments with any higher relative humidity than this. In comparison, the average relative humidity in a rain forest is 75-90%.
When moisture is increased, as in professional kitchens, swimming pool facilities, shower areas or food preparation industries, the air humidity can rise substantially and occasionally reach saturation which means condensation forms. The indoor climate in such rooms should therefore be carefully surveyed before the ceiling systems are installed.

Moisture tests  

Most Ecophon ceiling tiles are tested in accordance with the methods and instructions stated in ISO 4611. The majority of the tiles can withstand a permanent relative air humidity of up to 95% at 30°C without warping, deflecting, sagging or delaminating (see Moisture resistance table for details). Occasionally, for example during temporary damage to air-conditioning plant, etc., the above limits for air humidity/temperature can be exceeded without deterioration of the products or their performance. However, this is only possible provided the tiles are allowed to dry out in between.
Ecophon does not present higher values than 95% RH at 30°C due to technical and physical limitations in the testing methods. The fact is, that if the RH exceeds 95%, the moisture equilibrium is extremely sensitive also to very small climate variations in the testing chamber. For each specific material, the moisture content can be shown in a sorption curve. The sorption curve is very steep at high RH, and a hysteresis effect exists. The moisture content in the material is therefore unpredictable. Thus, attempts to carry out tests at a relative humidity >95% will fail, as the relative humidity will be unstable and hence give results that are not reliable. Leading testing institutes, such as SP (Swedish National Testing and Research Institute) and TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research) cannot perform tests with sufficient accuracy at RH>95%.
Sorption isotherm
Functional demands, Influence of climate, illustration
1. Moisture content
2. Relative humidity (%)
3. Hysteresis effect
ISO 12944-2 deals with the classification of the principal environments to which steel structures are exposed. All Ecophon Connect grids and accessories can withstand a C1 environment according to this standard.
The Connect C3 grid system has an extra anti-corrosion protection, which makes the products withstand a C3 environment.
The Connect C4 grid system is made of high grade austenitic stainless steel which has a very good resistance to uniform corrosion, exceptionally good resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion and very good resistance to various types of stress corrosion. This makes the product very suitable for C4 environments like swimming halls, chemical- and food processing plants.

Choice of fasteners

Ecophon has several different ceiling systems in three different corrosion categories. It is extremely critical to choose the correct fasteners. Fasteners can be classed according to European standard Paints & Varnishes EN 12944-2, which explains in which environment the fasteners are suitable to be used.


Stainless steel fasteners are usually classified according to material type.

  • A2, a standard CrNi18/8 stainless steel
  • A4, is commonly referred to as marine grade stainless steel
  • A5 which is an even higher grade alloy than A4 but also very well suited for load bearing applications in even more extreme environments.


Ecophon supplies two different fasteners for our C4 grid which is made from A5 material. These fasteners should never be used in any other grid except our C4 grid. When it comes to C3 grid fasteners, there is a wide range of fasteners easily obtainable on the market. These fasteners are usually classified as C4 or C3 through different treatments e.g. Delta tone. Fasteners classified as C4 or C3 are normally not stainless steel and can be used with Ecophon’s C1 and C3 classed systems and should never be used together with Ecophon’s C4 systems because of the risk of galvanic corrosion.


Extreme environments and micro-organisms

Sustained high temperatures and/or air humidity or environments with aggressive gases or other substances may affect the ceiling systems´ appearance and properties.
In cases where regular washing or hosing of the ceiling is necessary specially designed systems, Ecophon Hygiene, should be used. In these environments, and in environments with high air humidity grid systems with additional corrosion protection, Ecophon Connect C3, should also be installed.
The risk of mould and bacteria is an important consideration in environments with high relative humidity. Ecophon products themselves do not serve as a natural breeding media for mould and bacteria. By keeping the environment of the ceiling clean, and having a controlled climate below the critical humidity and temperature level, the risk for these micro-organisms is reduced considerably.
Mould and bacteria need special growing conditions
Functional demands, Influence of climate, illustration
1. Moisture
2. Right temperature
3. Growth media
= Risk for mould and bacteria
Ecophon tiles have been tested for microbiological growth according to the ASTM-standard G 21-96 at SLU (the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). The standard rates the products in 6 classes 0-5. All tested Ecophon tiles were in class 0, which means that they were unaffected.
The Moisture Resistance table shows which climate the different products can withstand without warping, deflecting or delaminating. Note, however, that micro-organisms can also be active in less humid climates.
Please note that the Hygiene products have the same climate limitations as for example the Focus and Master products, but the Hygiene products can withstand more frequent and extensive cleaning. Also see chapter Cleanability.


Vocabulary - Influence of climate 

Uniform corrosion

Uniform corrosion is characterized by corrosive attack proceeding evenly over the entire surface area, or a large fraction of the total area.  

Pitting corrosion

Pitting corrosion, or pitting, is a form of extremely localized corrosion that leads to the creation of small holes in the metal.  

Crevice corrosion 

Crevice corrosion is a corrosion occurring in spaces to which the access of the working fluid from the environment is limited. These spaces are generally called crevices. Examples of crevices are spaces under gaskets or seals, inside cracks and seams.

Stress corrosion

Stress corrosion is a corrosion of normally ductile metals subjected to a tensile stress in a corrosive environment, especially at elevated temperature.

Moisture resistance  

Moisture resistance
Max. permanent* relative air humidity
95% at 30°C. Higher air humidity/temperature in conjunction with cleaning.
95% at 30°C*

Super G
Wall Panel/Akutex FT and Super G
75% at 30°C*

Wall Panel/Texona
*The air humidity/temperature can be exceeded temporarily – see under Moisture Tests in this chapter.

Contact us

Main phone: +46 42 17 99 00

Contact us

Main phone: +46 42 17 99 00