Fiber Cement Panel Testing




microscopic imaging

flexural testing

absorbtion testing


josh kivela    luke niezelski



Fiber cement panels are desirable for cladding because they are relatively lightweight, non-combustible, and highly customizable, offering almost limitless combinations of colors and textures. Manufacturers are continually developing new products, but it is difficult to predict the panels’ performance without a track record of successful performance. SGH tested six panel types falling into three categories: ultra-high performance fiber reinforced, traditional fiber cement, and cement-bonded particle board. To help us assess the panels’ performance in service, we tested the flexural strength of each panel type after multiple freeze/thaw cycles and measured the long term water absorption. We conducted cross-sectional and material analyses, including petrography, to identify characteristics of the panels’ composition. We also reviewed several types of anchoring systems to better understand the effects of workmanship and installation procedures on capacity.


Our testing helps us assess how these common panel types will perform in service and allows us to better advise our clients. By examining the panels’ performance in conjunction with their composition, we can apply this knowledge to our evaluations of similar products, as well.


SGH will share our research results in industry publications. We also plan to continue our relationships with panel manufacturers and expand our research as needed to evaluate new products or better understand other performance characteristics (e.g., impact resistance).

To learn more, contact Josh Kivela at