How are Hurricane Windows tested for Impact Resistance?

When you live in a hurricane-prone region like the state of Florida, there are certain measures that homeowners must take to ensure their loved ones are not in danger and their property is protected. One of these measures is the installation of impact doors and windows. These products are designed to protect against strong force winds and impact damage from flying debris during a severe weather event such as a hurricane or tropical storm. This becomes vital for protecting you, your family and possessions at such pressing times.

Tests for Impact Resistance

Consequently, there are certain tests that are performed to ensure that these windows can be certified as being impact-resistant. TAS 201 is the testing standard for windows and shutters in the greater Miami area. In order to determine if a window can legally be classified as impact-resistant, a lumber cannon is used when conducting an impact test.  In order to pass this test, impact windows must survive the impact of a 9 pound 2×4 flying at 50 feet per second or 34 mph. This test is referred to as the “Missile Test.”

Cyclical Test

The next step it must pass is the “Cyclical Test” which certifies that these windows can withstand intense wind pressure. The tester places the impact-resistant windows inside a chamber where it is subjected to 4,500 negative cycles and 4,500 positive cycles.  These cycles simulate hurricane force winds and ensure that the glass in the windows remains intact at hurricane wind speeds.

There is also a small impact standard test that replaces the 9-pound 2×4 (see above) with 10 ball bearings being fired at speeds up to 50 mph. Although we must admit that watching a lumber cannon firing a 9-pound 2×4 can be very entertaining. Although testing varies based on manufacturer location, the guidelines all follow the exact same standard no matter where the testing is conducted.

These guidelines were created by the ASTM or American Society for Testing and Materials, an organization that is highly respected within the industry and has developed extensive guidelines that are always used in the testing of materials. In the case of impact windows, these guidelines ensure that the product is adequate for protecting against hurricane wind damage. All products that we have adhere to the strictest quality and impact resistance standards to assure our clients about their safety during hurricanes and storms.

For more information about this testing or to speak with a company representative about our products, call V&V Windows today.