First UltraPly TPO roof in Europe still going strong after more than 20 years

The first Elevate UltraPly TPO roofing project in Europe was installed in 1999, in a manufacturing site in Spain. About 12,500 m² of 1.1 mm thick UltraPly TPO white membrane were mechanically attached on steel deck.

Project ID
Location

Spain

Project type

New build

Building type

Industrial building

Surface

12,500 m²

Products

Elevate UltraPly TPO 1.1 mm

System

Mechanically attached

Twenty years later, the building owner asked Firestone to evaluate the residual life expectancy of the roof, so they could start to plan for a renewal, if needed. Following this request, in July 2019 samples of the membrane were collected from the site and sent to different labs for an in-depth chemical and physical analysis. This internal study revealed that, even after all those years, the UltraPly TPO roofing system was still in very good condition, protecting the building as the first day.

The membrane showed no cracking or crazing and no loss of thickness, even after 20 years of exposure in one of Europe’s regions with the highest UV levels. There was some oxidation of the TPO polymer, but far below any critical level.

The membrane still showed very good flexibility at low temperature and had very good mechanical strength thanks to its special weft-inserted reinforcement. It also remained easily weldable; the roofing contractor was amazed at how easy it was to repair the sampled area.

After several years of exposure surrounded by air extractors, the membrane was of course not very clean, but after a simple wash the original reflective white color was back.

Following this study, it was proposed to the building owner that Firestone will do a roof inspection regularly in coming years to evaluate its condition and define any necessary next steps.

The recipe for success

Reflective thermoplastic (TPO) membranes are one of the fastest growing single-ply roofing membranes in the market today. However, not all TPO membranes are the same. High quality TPO is ultimately rooted in good chemistry. A solid formula is essential to engineering a polymer that can withstand UV weathering, heat ageing and achieve the desired physical properties.

The formulation of Elevate’s UltraPly TPO membrane has remained unchanged since 1996, when it was first installed in Las Vegas (US), a project that is still in good condition. It contains no plasticizers, no chlorine and no heavy metals.

The UltraPly TPO roofing membrane is manufactured in an ISO 9001-certified facility and meets and exceeds both EN and ASTM standard requirements.