Volume 7, Issue 7 - July/August 2006

Weathering the Storm
Manufacturers Respond to Hurricanes with More Resistant Products

Door and window manufacturers are working on more ways to keep homeowners from having to board up their windows when the big storms strike. New hurricane-resistant sealants, door and window components and finished products are being introduced as this year’s hurricane season hits its fierce peak. 


Flood Barrier Shields Doors
Zero International of Bronx, N.Y., is offering a flood barrier shield for doors. The company says the product is simple to install and remove, and the barrier helps protect doors from water ingress in flood prone areas. The key to the shield’s impermeability is the use of closed cell neoprene rubber that lines the channel brackets and the bottom of each shield section, according to information from the company.

It is available in sections to make 10- and 20-inch-high barriers. The aluminum shield requires no tools to install into pre-mounted vertical channels. The unit complies with FEMA and FIA regulations, for use on doors. 

MI Adds Aluminum Frames to StormArmor Line 
MI Windows and Doors of Gratz, Pa., has added aluminum frames to its StormArmor line. The windows are available in a full line of operable, fixed and architectural shaped units in multiple color options. 

StormArmor windows are designed to resist impact from wind-borne debris and are an attractive alternative to shutters. StormArmor draws its strength from a PVB interlayer. Even when struck with flying debris, the product is designed to stay in one piece, sealing out high winds and reduce further damage. According to information from the company, StormArmor products meet building codes for hurricane prone states including Florida. 


New TremGlaze S700 Makes an Impact
Tremco of Beachwood, Ohio, has launched an innovative one-part, high modulus, neutral cure impact glazing silicone called TremGlaze S700. An AAMA-verified component, this hurricane-rated impact sealant is designed to meet the stringent requirements of impact glazing.

The TremGlaze S700 has tensile and elongation properties that allow it to perform in a variety of extreme glazing systems, according to the company. It also has a quick tack-free time and excellent mechanical properties. The single component make-up of the material allows for ease of use with conventional cold-applied pumping equipment. The product is available in multiple colors and packaging options.

Sikaflex®-552 Added to Family of Sika Impact-Certified Products 
Sikaflex-552, a one-part polyurethane hybrid adhesive, is part of the line of impact-certified products from Sika Corp. of Madison Heights, Mich. 

Sikaflex-552 passed testing to Miami Dade County, PA 201 large missile, and PA 203 cyclic wind pressure loading testing in 2003. In addition, the sealant has qualified to AAMA 805.2 Group A, “Bonding Back-Bedding Compound” specifications. Testing was performed on multiple customer built door wall and window units at independent test facilities.

The product by its very nature, a PUR Hybrid, offers adhesion to multiple substrates without priming, according to information from the company. It is part of Sika’s full line of door and window sealants and adhesives for OEM back bedding and assembly operation applications, new residential construction and replacement installation applications.


P.H. Tech Impact-Resistant Windows Pass ASTM Tests
PVC extruder P.H. Tech of Lévis, Québec, has announced that its System Boreal window line has successfully passed the ASTM large missile impact and cyclic pressure test protocols (ASTM E1886-03 and E1996-03).

The vinyl window assemblies now meet International Building and International Residential Code requirements in force in most coastal states. Successfully tested to ASTM wind-borne debris standards (Zone 4 with winds of 140 mph and over), the windows incorporate sealed insulating glass that also provides energy efficiency.

Its 3 ¼-inch casement and fixed casement window combinations are rated DP 65 (zone 4) and are available in sizes up to 194 by 72 inches (maximum casement unit width of 36 inches and maximum fixed casement width of 60 inches). The company also offers 3 ¼-inch double-hung and picture window combinations, which are rated DP 55 (zone 4) and are available in sizes up to 169 by 76 inches (double-hung maximum width of 54 inches and picture window maximum width of 60 inches).

Simonton Products Help Weather the Storm 
Hurricane-resistant StormBreaker Plus™ doors and windows from Simonton Windows of Parkersburg, W.Va., are made with one lite of tempered glass and one lite of impact-resistant laminated glass. A durable interlayer sandwiched between lites of laminated glass prevents the glass from being shattered by flying debris. According to information from the company, the products offer energy efficiency as well as storm protection. In addition, the vinyl frames offer low maintenance and good insulation. The impact-resistant windows also reduce the amount of noise and UV rays that can penetrate the home, along with making it extremely difficult for intruders to break in.

Built to withstand hurricane-force winds and meet the strict Dade County, Fla., building codes, StormBreaker Plus windows from Simonton are tested regularly to make certain they pass pressure cycling, impact and water infiltration tests. 

Gorell Introduces Two New Hurricane Window Models 
Gorell Windows and Doors of Indiana, Pa., now offers two new Armor Impact Plus (AIP) Hurricane Window models to add to its line of energy-efficient doors and windows. The new 5301 AIP picture window and 5352 AIP lift-out sliding window are engineered to provide homeowners with protection against airborne debris from strong winds, storms and other forms of violent weather. Armor Impact Plus windows offer homeowners convenience and “constant readiness” because in the event of violent weather, nothing other than closing and locking them needs to be done. 

The new window models were designed to make homes more energy efficient as well as secure. The windows feature three lites of glass, two of which sandwich a PVB interlayer. Thick, multi-chambered frame construction and double locks add structural strength and durability. AIP windows incorporate a SolarControl Plus® low-E coating and argon gas fill for cost-saving energy efficiency year round—and to qualify them for the Energy Star® label.

These windows are available in a wide array of colors, including soft white, almond, golden oak, darkwood, almond opalwood and Tudor brown finishes. 

NuAir Responds to Interest in Impact-Resistance
NuAir Manufacturing of Tampa, Fla., offers its NuImpact™ line of doors and windows in a broad array of styles, in standard and impact-resistant designs. This means that builders can offer both types of windows on the same house without any difference in the aesthetics of the products. 

The NuImpact doors and windows are manufactured using laminated glass with a clear PVB (polyvinyl butyral) interlayer that provides continuous protection even if the glass is broken. The flexible interlayer helps absorb impact-related force. NuImpact products have been tested and certified to meet the stringent requirements of Miami-Dade County Testing Protocol PA 201, 202, and 203.

In addition to the safety benefits, NuImpact laminated windows also help control UV rays that can fade carpets, draperies and furniture. 

The NuImpact product line includes single-hung windows, French doors, sidelites and sliding glass doors, along with designer picture windows in virtually every shape and size. It is available in either white or bronze frame color, several thicknesses and a wide array of glass colors. 

Weather Shield Enhances Impact-Resistant Line 
Weather Shield of Medford, Wis., has made several enhancements to its LifeGuard impact-resistant product line. 

The new vinyl LifeGuard IG ELS single-hung window is modeled after a traditional wood single-hung window and features four 9/16-inch jambs. According to the company, the new window has passed the ASTM testing protocol. 

The company is also offering a new French sliding patio door to its LifeGuard line. The two-panel door is available in widths between 5 and 8 feet and heights between 6-foot 8-inch and 8-foot 2-inch. The insulating glass is manufactured with 11/32-inch laminated glass. The unit meets a design pressure of +50/-60. Like other LifeGuard IG products, the door has been tested to missile level D, wind zone 3 requirements in accordance with ASTM E1886 and ASTM E1996. It also meets the windborne debris requirements referenced in the International Building Code, International Residential Code and Texas Department of Insurance 1-98.


Bystronic Speeds Processing of Shatter-Resistant Glass
The smart’lamicut cutting and separating table from Bystronic of Hauppauge, N.Y., is designed to help manufacturers of hurricane-resistant doors and windows process laminated glass more efficiently and economically.

The easy-to-use smart’lamicut improves processing efficiency through a user-friendly software system that controls such critical processing parameters as cutting speed, cutting and breaking pressure and heating periods. Digital stops ensure accurate and fast manual glass positioning. With automatic scoring on both sides of the glass, glass separation is clean and accurate, according to the company. 

Bystronic offers a variety of customizable systems for the cost-effective production of laminated glass, as well as a wide range of flat glass handling systems, designed with safety, cost-effectiveness and quality performance in mind.

Wall of Wind Aims to Study Window Performance

A project proposed by professors at Florida International University (FIU) and the University of Florida for the Florida Building Commission aims to create a new testing apparatus, the Wall of Wind, to reproduce the actual dynamics of wind and rain on a low-rise structure at full scale. The Wall of Wind is currently under development at FIU. 

The impetus for this project comes from the fact that improving buildings located in hurricane-prone regions can reduce loss and damage significantly. In fact, according to the report, the State of Florida contracted local universities to conduct damage assessments of homes built to the 1994-2002 Standard Building Code (SBC) and to the Florida Building Code 2001 that went into effect in July 2002. Preliminary results indicate the insured losses for the FBC homes are 40-50 percent lower than equivalent homes built to the SBC. 

Members of the fenestration industry see the value of this type of research and have lent their support. Andersen Corporation will provide glazing and fenestration for the wall and the American Architectural Manufacturers Association serves as a co-sponsor.
In the project, the wind/rain field will travel 10-16 feet from the exit of the Wall of Wind to the test subject—such as a corner or a part of a full-size single-story house—where high-speed cameras will monitor its degradation. 

One of the objectives of the program is to model water infiltration through drained/mass wall assemblies and building subsystems which includes doors and windows. Research will evaluate Clause 5 of the AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101 I.S.2/A440-05 which specifies that the minimum water penetration resistance test pressure shall be 15 percent of the design pressure for family dwellings. Additionally, the performance of window systems impacted by wind-borne debris and wind buffeting will be targeted to evaluate the pressure cycle requirements with regard to design reliability and impact momentum required for glass breakage. 

The Wall of Wind project will also study ASTM, AAMA and the WDMA test methods that evaluate the performance of doors and windows. 

According to Forrest James Masters, PhD at FIU, researchers are studying water intrusion on soffits presently and fabricating the first module of the RenRe Wall of Wind (six fans). There is no a target completion date, yet, as Masters says he, and others working on the project, are still working with large sponsors to get the larger facility operational.

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