Building Envelope Technologies (BET) routinely performs air infiltration and water infiltration testing on field installed windows, storefronts, and curtain walls. Testing is carried out per the project specifications (typically AAMA 502) to confirm that the installed materials meet the required performance standards.
Air infiltration testing is typically performed according to ASTM E 783. This test consists of placing the window unit under a specified static air pressure and measuring the amount of airflow through the unit. Typically, a vacuum chamber is constructed on the interior of the window unit, sealed to the window frame, and the exterior of the window is covered and sealed air tight with plastic. The chamber is brought up to pressure (typically 6.24 psf per AAMA 502), and a control condition reading is taken to measure the amount of airflow through the chamber setup.
Once the initial airflow through the control condition setup is recorded, the exterior plastic is removed from the window exterior, and any resulting increase in airflow is recorded. The increase in airflow (cubic feet per minute) is divided by the area of the window unit (square feet), to obtain the air infiltration through the window (cfm/sf). If the amount of air infiltration exceeds the permitted amount in the performance specification, the test fails.
Water infiltration testing is typically performed according to ASTM E 1105. This test consists of placing the window unit under a specified static air pressure, and then wetting the window exterior in a controlled manner with a spray rack for a duration of 15 minutes. Testing can also be performed in cyclic manner of 5 minutes on, 1 minute off, for three cycles. The vacuum chamber test pressure is set a two thirds the value of the factory certified laboratory test pressure. Any uncontrolled water infiltration observed at the window interior during the test is considered a failure.
Please enjoy these videos taken during one of our typical testing setups.