Process and Importance – Hurricane Testing - Steel Windows & Doors USA


Process and Importance – Hurricane Testing

As a continuation of our “Hurricane and Impact Testing” blog, we wanted to conclude this exciting press release by taking a deeper look at the processes and importance of becoming Hurricane and Impact Certified.

Discussing the Importance

Miami-Dade County is currently the gold-standard in hurricane and impact testing. Once a product becomes certified, it will receive an NOA number issued by the Building Code and Compliance Office of Miami-Dade, Florida bearing the product approval which means that the product has undergone rigorous testing in compliance with the TAS protocols. So what does this mean? When Miami-Dade County approves your product and presents you with formal certification, this means that your product is automatically approved for all areas that may be at risk for hurricanes, tornados or other high wind situations. It also lets architects, builders, contractors, buyers and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) recognize that your product adheres to the distinctive requirements for a hurricane prone region.

Although impact testing, no matter what standard, does not guarantee that the certified product will withstand any impact, it will certainly drastically assist home survivability. It is a proven fact that you have a significantly better chance of saving the core structure of your home if you can uphold the structural integrity of its outer shell. Once wind finds a way to infiltrate the structure, the possibility of the structure being significantly damaged by the drastic pressure change becomes increasingly more likely. Therefore reinforcing the opening of your home or business becomes imperative.  Remember, it is your life, your property, and more importantly, your family you are protecting.

The ProcessHurricane/Impact Testing

In an impact/hurricane zone, Code requires that all exterior openings, both residential and commercial, be provided with protection against wind-borne debris caused by hurricanes. To quantify the protection of each product tested, various impact testing procedures are implemented. Such impact testing is done to simulate windborne debris aggressively coming in contact with a window during a hurricane or intense storm. The two types of certified impact-resistant products are large-missile resistant and small- missile resistant.

Large-Missile Resistant Test

To begin the large-missile impact testing, a solid 9 pound piece of wood, measuring approximately 2″ x 4″ x 6’ in size, traveling at a speed of 50 feet per second (34 mph) is fired directly at the product. Next, the product is exposed to over 9,000 cycles of positive and negative wind loads which are used to simulate the most intense storm conditions. For the product to pass successfully, no hole larger than 1/16 x 5″ in the interlayer of the glass is to be observed. This particular impact rating is used when the doors and windows are to be installed or are located 30 feet or less above ground level. Any higher than 30 feet from ground level and the product must be either large or small missile certified.

Small-missile resistant

To begin small-missile impact testing, 10 steel ball bearings, with a measured velocity of over 80 feet per second (50 mph), collide with the product. Following this impact, the product is subjected to extreme and rapid positive and negative pressures simulating the most intense storm conditions for over 9,000 cycles.

  • Some other Benefits of Impact & Cycling / Hurricane Testing:
  • Ensures reliable product superiority
  • Fair product evaluation
  • Well-versed product choice
  • Compliance with numerous performance standards
  • Property and life fortification
  • Demonstrates a product’s benefits and limitations
  • Accurate, balanced results
  • Streamlined research and development procedures
  • Unvarying code compliance requirements

For more information on our Impact and Hurricane certification please read Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog or refer directly to our site for in-depth description of our products.