The paper describes an experiment focusing on the way the material system influences the bond strength of large-format tiles installed on concrete substrate during mechanical loading under conditions that correspond to real-life application. This involves a controllable mechanical load applied over an area of a test model while observing its condition using non-destructive methods (ultrasonic pulse velocity test, acoustic emission method, strain measurement, and acoustic tracing). The model consisted of a concrete slab onto which were mounted four different systems with large-format tiles with the dimensions of 3 m × 1 m. The combinations differed in the thickness of the tile, the adhesive, and whether or not a fabric membrane was included in the adhesive bed. The experiment showed that the loading caused no damage to the ceramic tile. All the detected failures took place in the adhesive layer or in the concrete slab.
Keywords: acoustic nondestructive methods; failure; large format tiles; mechanical load; real-life application.