New technology being used in engineering and manufacturing are allowing custom systems to become standard. AWS has tested several systems at independent laboratories. This process provides vital information about the tolerances of the system as well as the interface of various products. It is where we erect, dissect, and test the system in order to build it correctly. Similar to automobile testing, we don’t leave the lab until the system meets or exceeds the safety and performance requirements. Some of the tests AWS has done are listed below.

Laboratory Tests:

U.B. Code Seismic Racking Test: Verification that the system is designed to withstand seismic activity. System is racked vertically several times, mimicking seismic force to test structural integrity and sealants.

ASTM E 283 Air Infiltration Test:
Air infiltration testing seals the building mockup to an air chamber which deflects the building skin allowing for inward/outward pressure to be exerted on the skin. System is then checked for air leakage.

ASTM E 330 Structural Design Load Test:
Applying 6.24 pounds of pressure per square foot in this tests recreates 50 mph winds on the building skin. With the use of caliper dial indicator, the deflection of the system is then physically measured to ensure deflection remains within specified tolerances.

ASTM E 331 Static Water Penetration Test: Static water is applied with a spray rack at 10 lbs. per square foot (equal to 5 gallons/hour/square foot) to the building skin continuously for 15 minutes while chamber is sealed and exerting negative pressure. This tests to see if the water can be ‘pulled’ into the system.

ASTM E 501.1 Dynamic Water Penetration: This test utilizes an airplane propeller behind the water spray rack to mimic hurricane force winds. Test duration is the same as static water test.

Field Tests:

ASTM E 783 Field check for Air Infiltration
ASTM E 1105 Field check for water penetration/static pressure
ASTM E 501.2 Field check Metal Curtain Walls
ASTM E 502 Field test-Windows
ASTM E 503 Field test-Curtain Walls


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