How to Test the Water Penetration Resistance of Windows and Doors Using ASTM E331-00
Water penetration through windows and doors can cause serious damage to buildings and their contents. To prevent water leakage, it is important to test the water penetration resistance of these components using a standard method. One such method is ASTM E331-00, which describes the procedures to determine the water penetration resistance of exterior windows, skylights, doors, and curtain walls by uniform static air pressure difference.
This article will explain what ASTM E331-00 is, how it works, and how to perform the test using a calibrated spray apparatus and a test chamber.
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What is ASTM E331-00?
ASTM E331-00 is a testing standard that was developed by ASTM International, an organization that publishes voluntary consensus standards for various materials, products, systems, and services. ASTM E331-00 was first published in 2000 and was reapproved in 2016. It is applicable to any curtain-wall area or to windows, skylights, or doors alone.
The purpose of ASTM E331-00 is to measure the resistance of exterior windows, skylights, doors, and curtain walls to water penetration when water is applied to the outdoor face and exposed edges simultaneously with a uniform static air pressure at the outdoor face higher than the pressure at the indoor face. The test simulates the conditions of wind-driven rain on a building envelope.
The test results can be used to evaluate the performance of a manufactured assembly or to compare different assemblies. However, the test does not identify unobservable liquid water that may penetrate into the test specimen. The test also does not address the effects of water penetration on the performance of contained materials such as sealants and insulating or laminated glass. The test also does not account for the variations of air pressure and water exposure that can occur in service due to factors such as wind gusts, thermal expansion and contraction, vibration, etc.
How does ASTM E331-00 work?
ASTM E331-00 works by applying a uniform static air pressure difference across a test specimen while spraying water on its outdoor face and exposed edges. The test specimen is mounted in a test chamber that has an opening that matches the size and shape of the specimen. The test chamber is connected to an air supply system that can generate and maintain a specified air pressure difference between the indoor and outdoor faces of the specimen.
A calibrated spray apparatus is used to deliver water to the outdoor face and exposed edges of the specimen at a specified rate and distribution. The spray apparatus consists of a series of nozzles that are arranged in a grid pattern around the opening of the test chamber. The nozzles are designed to produce water droplets that have a diameter of 0.5 mm (0.02 in.) and a velocity of 12 m/s (40 ft/s) at a distance of 305 mm (12 in.) from the nozzle tip.
The test procedure involves setting up the test specimen, spray apparatus, and air supply system according to the standard specifications. The test specimen is inspected for any defects or damage before mounting it in the test chamber. The spray apparatus is calibrated to ensure that the water flow rate and distribution are within the acceptable limits. The air supply system is adjusted to create a uniform static air pressure difference across the specimen.
The test duration depends on the type and size of the specimen. For windows, skylights, and doors, the test duration is 15 minutes. For curtain walls, the test duration is based on the area of the specimen, with a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours.
During the test, water is sprayed on the outdoor face and exposed edges of the specimen while maintaining a constant air pressure difference between its indoor and outdoor faces. The indoor face of the specimen is observed for any evidence of water penetration through cracks, joints, glazing, or other openings. Any water penetration is recorded as a failure.
How to perform ASTM E331-00?
To perform ASTM E331-00, you will need:
A test specimen that meets the requirements of ASTM E331-00
A test chamber that has an opening that matches the size and shape of 29c81ba772