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The ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) requires adhesion testing to be performed in the field of all air barrier material that use adhesion as their means of attachment to the wall.

The basic principle is very simple- attach a disk of a known size to the air barrier material, cut around the material so you are pulling on a specific size of the material, and exert force to attempt to pull the material off. Increase the force until a separation occurs.

Read the instructions for operating the adhesion tester prior to commencing the test. Ensure the adhesion tester has the range of expected values- if you overload the tester, you will destroy the gauges. When attaching the adhesion tester to the pad adhered to the air barrier material, ensure that the specimen is not being pre-stressed by bumping or bending. For non-horizontal surfaces, support the adhesion tester so its weight is not added to the force exerted on the sample.

How do I choose the right pull tester?

Depending on the air barrier material and the wall material, the manufacturer recommends a minimum pull strength value (adhesion value), most of the time in psi. Below is a list of pull test values in lb depending on the size of the disc you stick on the material.

Minimum adhesion value Equivalent pull force with 2.25in diameter disc Equivalent pull force with 4in diameter disc
16 psi 64 lb 201 lb
20 psi 79 lb 251 lb
24 psi 96 lb 301 lb
28 psi 111 lb 352 lb
32 psi 127 lb 402 lb
40 psi 159 lb 502 lb
48 psi 191 lb 603 lb
56 psi 223 lb 703 lb

We offer different models of pull testers:
- Digital gauge: high accuracy (0.5% of the full scale). It allows a test of any type of air barrier material with a 1000lb gauge capacity.
- Analog gauge: accuracy 2% of the full scale. A gauge is recommended for test between 20% and 80% of its capacity (for example between 200lb and 800lb for a 1000lb capacity analog gauge). It means that you can not use a 1000lb gauge to measure low values.

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