Volume 8, Issue 6 - June 2007

AAMA Analysis

Advocating Quality Assurance for Door and Window Components
by Dean Lewis

A door or window is a complex mechanism of numerous components that must interact over a long service life properly. In fact, AAMA alone has, for a long time, recognized this and emphasized component performance.

Over many years these concerns have been translated into an ever-increasing breadth of consensus-based performance standards that form the basis of the industry’s largest and most respected product certification program. The whole unit performance standard— today’s latest version being AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S. 2/A440-05—has become the anchor for a range of performance verification programs all aiming at quality performance of the installed product. Since 1962, the AAMA Certification Program has been based on that standard and its predecessors.

Approved Components
A key element of the effectiveness of the whole unit performance has been the underlying performance standards for the many components—glass, framing materials, hardware, weatherstripping, etc. The components comprise a finished product, and must be third-party verified as meeting their requisite standards to become part of an AAMA-certified product.

Approved components are listed in the AAMA Verified Components List (VCL), available online at the AAMA website (www.aamanet.org). Note that only those components for which an AAMA performance standard exists and for which a laboratory test report demonstrating conformance with the requirements of that standard is on file, may be included in the VCL.

Updated monthly, the VCL lists more than 100 manufacturers, several hundred individual products and the corresponding AAMA standards in the following categories: 

Paint Applicators
The applicator must have applied and tested a coating in compliance with the appropriate AAMA specification. AAMA verifies that these application lines have tests on file indicating the ability to apply coatings required in the AAMA Certification Program correctly. Test methods verify adhesion, stain and chemical resistance, color-fastness, impact resistance and weatherability.

  • Organic coatings on aluminum (AAMA 2603, 2604 or 2605);

  • Anodized coatings (AAMA 611);

  • Anodized coatings combined with clear coat (AAMA 612);

  • Organic coatings of varying performance grades on PVC profiles (AAMA 613, 614, 615);

  • Organic coatings on galvanized aluminum and steel (AAMA 620, 621); and

  • Organic coatings of varying performance grades on fiberglass profiles (AAMA 623, 624, 625).

Performance tests are for compression set and shrinkage under accelerated weathering.

  • Pile and replacement weatherstripping for installation in retaining profiles (AAMA 701/702 series).

Performance tests cover adhesion, low-temperature flexibility, water resistance and other key parameters.

  • Architectural-grade sealing compounds, back bedding compounds and cellular glazing tapes (AAMA 800).

Performance tests determine durability after accelerated open/close cycling and shock loads, ability to support sash weight and corrosion resistance.

  • Rotary operators, sash balances and sliding door roller assemblies (AAMA 901, 902, 904, 906, 907, 908).

A Growing List
As the scope of the whole unit performance standard grows, now encompassing some 30 operator types, the categories of components listed on the Verified Components List also expand. New product categories recently added and the standards that govern them are:

Installation Products

  • Adhesion of self-adhering flashing (AAMA 711); and

  • Expansion properties of aerosol foam insulation for installation (AAMA 812).

Door Hardware
Water penetration resistance and structural load performance of door locking/latching hardware (AAMA 930).

Additional component standards are under development in these same categories to address cellular tapes for installation, non-integral door bottom weather seals and side-hinged exterior door multi-point locking hardware and trim. When finalized, AAMA will determine the possible inclusion of these products in the program as well.

Everyone in the Supply Chain Benefits
The VCL benefits several stakeholders in the growing certified door, window and skylight market. It is, in effect, an approved shopping list of door and window components for fenestration manufacturers who wish to have their completed doors, windows and skylights certified under the AAMA Certification Program. For component manufacturers, it qualifies them as a resource for a significant base of potential customers, given the large number of AAMA certification program participants. Finally, the VCL and the underlying performance standards represent a credible, multi-layered, third-party-validated quality-assurance program that verifies the all-important components as well as the finished product. 

Dean Lewis is the certification manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association in Schaumburg, Ill. He may be reached at dlewis@aamanet.org. Mr. Lewis’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.


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