Volume 2   Issue 3               Fall 2001

from the Publisher

Worth the Wait
by Tara Taffera

As a window and door manufacturer you recognize certain problems in the industry. For example, there’s no regulation or code concerning issue X. What are you as a window manufacturer to do? After all, you’re not the only one who thinks there should be something written about issue X in the codes. 

So, you and your colleagues get together and propose a solution. The solution passes. Problem solved. Right? Kind of. The aforementioned process may be accurate, but the road from a problem to a solution is often a long trip—one that can take years. 

To illustrate this point, let’s look at the issue of deflection limits. As our sister publication, USGlass, first reported in June (see USGlass, June 2001, page 56, or access it on our website at www.usglassmag.com), L/175 has been around the architectural community for years. However, some in the industry have suddenly begun to question where this number originated. So, AAMA commissioned a research project with the goal of developing technical data on this issue using mathematical analysis. Bill Lingnell of Lingnell Consultants headed up the research efforts, which looked at 120 glass configurations and load conditions.

Lingnell’s preliminary research was presented at AAMA’s summer meeting, held June 10-13 in Denver, during a Glass and Frame Deflection Limits Symposium. 

Some AAMA members may have attended the meeting with the faint hope that AAMA would come to a clear decision regarding deflection limits. Others who have been in the industry for years know these things take time.

“I don’t feel there was enough information presented that will allow us to make a proposal concerning this issue,” said Carl Wagus, technical director for AAMA. “Some people asked questions that couldn’t be answered, which tells us that we need more information in certain areas.

“This issue is very important to the industry. Something of this magnitude is best addressed by having long discussions and debates,” he said. “This takes time—especially when we only meet three times per year.”

Bill Deuschle, chairman of the AAMA’s deflection limits task group and director of engineering/quality operations for TRACO, agreed that more research needs to be done. He added, though, that Lingnell’s research proved that some type of deflection limit is needed. 

“We’ve waited this long [without a limit],” said Deuschle. “We might as well make sure it is correct.”

“I wouldn’t expect to have a proposal on this issue this year,” said Wagus. “Maybe next year but one never knows.”

At times you may get frustrated with the process. Whether it’s with deflection or another hot industry topic, try to have faith. Remember that while you may want one group or another to make a decision regarding a particular issue, remind yourself that you would rather see a good decision made than one that will be debated in another ten years because a new group of people ask, “Where did this standard come from? ...”

© Copyright 2001 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.