Competencies - May 2023

Black matt taps in the endurance test

Shoulder view in the Geberit material laboratory

You can find them in every home trend magazine: black matt lacquered taps. But how do they prove themselves in the bathroom? As with every market launch, Geberit's materials engineers wanted to know exactly and put the trend colour through its paces.

Something is different here. For some time now, visitors to bathroom showrooms have been making a longer stop in the taps department. Where previously taps in the classic chrome look shone in competition, now black matt lacquered taps and shower heads also vie for the favour of customers. The new representatives are a pleasant change to the high-gloss range.

A case for the materials laboratory
No wonder, because when it comes to furnishings, black matt taps open up new design horizons, especially in combination with wood. Geberit also has products in the trend colour in its range - for example, the wall-mounted taps of the Geberit ONE bathroom series or bathroom tub sets. Alexander Fischer, a technician in the in-house materials laboratory, subjected the paint to an extensive series of tests. Both physical and chemical tests are used for the surfaces of the taps.

Scratching, hitting, punching
What sounds like an argument between toddlers corresponds to the task of physical tests in the materials laboratory. This involves checking how scratch- and impact-resistant the lacquer surface is. Worth mentioning here is the abrasion test, a wear test that simulates daily use: A silicone stamp touches the paint no less than 20,000 times within three hours.

In the abrasion test, a silicone stamp touches the lacquer 20,000 times within three hours.

All kinds of liquids
Chemical tests are used to check how the lacquer reacts to different liquids found in the bathroom. These include cleaning agents and disinfectants, limescale removers, curd soaps or hand creams. Here, the drop test dominates, in which drops of liquid act on the lacquer surface for seven days. The compulsory programme also includes the simulation of the hot and humid bathroom climate: in the condensation water test, the taps are exposed to a temperature of 40°C and 100 percent humidity for almost a month - a supreme discipline among endurance tests.

Stricter than the standard
Depending on the test procedure, Geberit sets itself stricter specifications than those prescribed by the standard. This is not only in the interest of its own quality standards, but also of the complaint statistics - because in the bathroom, too, the enjoyment of the selected furnishings should remain undiminished for as long as possible.

The "sweat box" simulates a typical bathroom climate.
"In the condensation water test, the fittings are exposed to a temperature of 40°C and 100 percent humidity for almost a month."
Alexander Fischer, technician in the materials laboratory