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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.

6
PVC Use Grows As Technology Advances
Strong Standards Have Helped Spark a Materials Revolution
BY RICHARD RINKA
A
landmark in the industry’s
historic progression beyond
fenestration framing made of
either wood or aluminum was AAMA
303, Voluntary Specification for Rigid
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Exterior
Profiles. Issued 20 years ago, it was the
first among today’s polymeric materi
-
al specifications, which now include
six formulations in addition to PVC
(fiberglass, ABS, composites, etc.).
The Basics
To be deemed as conforming to
the North American Fenestration
Standard (NAFS) AAMA/WDMA/CAS
101/I.S.2/A440 (and therefore certi
-
fiable under the AAMA Certification
Program), vinyl windows must be
made from extrusions that com
-
ply with AAMA 303. Such compli-
ance is established through certifi-
cation under the AAMA Extrusion
Certification Program, in which ran
-
domly selected production-line sam-
ples of extrusions are tested by an
accredited third-party laboratory.
The foundational requirements for
uncoated base profiles (mono-extru
-
sions) made from a single homogeneous
stream of rigid PVC compound are:
Dimensional stability and impact
resistance at weathering intervals;
Color fastness under extended
weathering;
Heat resistance (30 minutes of
exposure to 300°F with no visible
blistering, cracking, crazing, flaking
or delamination);
Heat build-up tolerance (no per
-
manent deformation in excess of
0.4 percent of span), and;
Absence of lead.
AAMA 303 extensively refer
-
ences ASTM D4726-15, Standard
Specification for Rigid Poly (Vinyl
Chloride) (PVC) Exterior-Profile
Extrusions Used for Assembled
Windows and Doors.
The requirements and testing for
laminated profiles are the same as
those for base profiles, plus adhe
-
sive bond strength. The latter is deter-
mined by static mass and tensile test
methods and a boiling water test
detailed within AAMA 303. For organ
-
ic coated profiles, the requirements
are the same as for base profiles, plus
compliance with the applicable coat
-
ings standard among AAMA 614, 613
or 615, which specify dry film thick
-
ness, color and gloss retention, dry
film hardness and dry adhesion.
For profiles with a co-extruded
Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)
—aka acrylic, Plexiglas, Lucite etc. —
capstock, the requirements are the
same as for base profiles, except that a
different impact test is specified.
In-plant quality-control sampling
frequency, test requirements and
record-keeping are spelled out in
AAMA 303 for both coated and lami
-
nated window profiles. The minimum
requirements include testing of pro
-
duction-line samples of basic or co-ex-
truded profiles for dimensional stabil-
ity, impact resistance, heat resistance
and weight tolerance.
The Latest Updates
New in the 2017 issue of 303 is
the requirement that applicators of
organic coatings to rigid PVC, cel
-
lulosic composite or PVC-clad pro-
file coatings must additionally meet
the requirements of AAMA 663-14,
Voluntary Specification for In-Process
Quality Control Requirements for
Applicators of Organic Coatings to
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Exterior
Profiles. While coatings must com
-
ply with all requirements of one or
more of AAMA 613, 614 or 615, to
meet AAMA 663, the applicator must
test representative samples at regular
intervals and whenever changes are
made to colors or paint lots.
Also new in 2017 is a section spell
-
ing out requirements for co-extruded
profiles.
In addition to base mono-extru
-
sions, three extrusion categories are
defined according to how the sub
-
strate (base) extrusion is separated
from the visible surface layers that
are exposed to UV radiation and the
detriments of extended weathering:
center core co-extrusion, cap layer
co-extrusion, and center core and cap
layer combination co-extrusion.
Co-extruded profiles must meet
base profile requirements as described
earlier, except weatherability and heat
build-up testing apply to the visible
areas of the profile, but not the PVC
material used in the non-visible areas
and center core area of the profile.
Another important document,
AAMA 320, General Guidelines for
Troubleshooting Welded Vinyl Corners,
helps window manufacturers identify
and correct the many factors that can
affect the integrity of welded corners.
Obtaining profile certification to
standards such as AAMA 303 and
following guidelines such as AAMA
320 lends the credibility of consensus
methodology and third-party verifica
-
tion to claims of quality and relieves
manufacturers of having to perform
their own acceptance testing and/or
evaluating test results.
y
Richard Rinka is the technical manager,
standards and industry affairs for the
American Architectural Manufacturers
Association in Schaumburg, Ill.
A A M A A N A L Y S I S
rrinka@aamanet.org
Door & Window Market www.dwmmag.com

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© 2018 Copyright Key Media and Research All rights reserved. 
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.