FGIA Gives Overview of Safety and Security Glazing Standards

Security glazing is growing increasingly popular around the U.S. and with that comes questions about which standards to use and best practices to follow. To answer some of these questions, the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) hosted a webinar titled, “Security Glazing for Storefront and Fenestration.”

Bill Lingnell, FGIA technical consultant, gave an overview of many safety and security glazing standards. For safety glazing, the test method used today is ANSI Z97.1, which requires a 100-pound soft body impactor be used. Class A requires 400 foot pounds be dropped from a height of 48 inches. Class B requires 50 foot pounds be dropped from a height of 18 inches.

For door and window system framing there are three standards for forced entry frame attack which require the use of various tools and no glazing impact: ASTM F476 – hinged doors, ASTM F588 – windows, and ASTM F842 – sliding doors.

When it comes to burglar resistance, UL 972 was designed with this in mind. It requires an impact test with a 5-pound steel ball dropped at a height of 10 feet onto the glass. It requires multiple drops, including a high energy drop from 40 feet. The specimens are conditioned at various temperatures to simulate an outdoor/indoor environment. The pass criteria for this standard is no penetration of the glass.

ASTM E2395, Standard Specification for Voluntary Security Performance of Window and Door Assemblies with Glazing Impact, is used for hurricane impact with forced entry. This standard requires a glazing test impact in accordance with ASTM E1886 and missile specifications per ASTM E1996.

Several glazing standards can be used for forced entry security:

  • ASTM F1233, Standard Test Method for Security Glazing Materials and Systems – Impacts with various weapons including a sledge hammer, extinguisher, chisel and gasoline; ballistic assault and anthropomorphic assault. The pass criteria for contraband protection is no opening that allows the passage of an 1/8-inch diameter rod. The pass criteria for body protection is no opening that allows the passage of an 9-inch by 8-inch by 5-inch block.
  • ASTM F1915 – Glazing impact with forced egress, various weapons and anthropomorphic assault.
  • ASTM F3038, Standard Test Method for Time Evaluation of Forced Entry-Resistant Systems – This method simulates a spontaneous mob attack. It requires a full system test with no substitutions allowed. It established time levels of forced entry (5, 15, 30 60 and user-defined minutes). A specific set of tools is defined and the number of aggressors is pre-determined.
  • UL 972 – Burglary resistance glazing with repetitive ball drops and mechanical properties.

For ballistics, UL 752 is used. It has eight performance levels and testing is done on a 12-inch by 12-inch lite. To pass there can be no penetration and no spall. Other ballistics standards include NIJ 0108.01, ASTM F1233 and EN 1063.

Blast standards include ASTM F1642, Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems subject to Airblast Loadings, ASTM F2248, Standard Practice for Specifying an Equivalent 3-Second Duration Design Loading for Blast Resistant Glazing Fabricated with Laminated Glass, and ASTM F2912-17, Standard Specification for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings.

ASTM F1642 is a glass or fenestration test and requires shock tube or open arena testing. It evaluates hazards of glazing against airblast loads. Glazing tests can be performed with or without a frame system. The rating and hazard level is contained in ASTM F2912.

ASTM F2248 is a method to be used with ASTM E1300. It provides the ability to select glass thickness and the type of laminated glass. It’s recommended that only annealed or heat-strengthened glass be used. It applies to conventional PVB interlayers only.

ASTM F2912-17 includes several performance levels: GSA Level C (4 psi peak pressures/28 psi-msec), DOD (6 psi peak pressure/42 psi-msec) and GSA Level D (10 psi peak pressure/89 psi-msec).

There are two ASTM subcommittees working on security glazing standards:

  • ASTM F12.10 – WK 43830: Ballistic-resistance security glazing materials.
  • ASTM E54 – WK 8908: Guide for School Preparedness and All Hazard Response.

For the school glazing selection process, Lingnell said it’s important to ensure that the frame is adequate to hold the glass and resist entry. The performance level can be selected from ASTM F476, F588 or F842.

There are a number of FGIA/AAMA standards applicable to security glazing. Some have been withdrawn but are still available.

Click here to read part two of this article about the webinar’s panel discussion.

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