Providing Protection: An Overview of Security Glazing Codes and Standards

By Jordan Scott

Security glazing is becoming increasingly popular around the U.S. due to growing concern about building security and potential acts of vandalism. With those concerns come questions about which standards to use and best practices to follow when specifying various security applications. To answer some of these questions, the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) hosted a webinar titled, “Security Glazing for Storefront and Fenestration,” in July.

Safety Glazing

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

Forced Entry

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 requires an impact test with a 5-pound steel ball dropped from a height of 10 feet onto the glass. It also 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 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 sledgehammer, 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 a 9-inch by 8-inch by 5-inch block;
• ASTM F1915 – glazing impact with forced egress, various weapons and anthropomorphic assault;
• ASTM F2395 – glazing impact with various graduated levels, mechanical with anthropomorphic properties, sequence of high level;
• 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. The test establishes time levels of forced entry (at 5-, 15-, 30-, 60-minute and user-defined intervals). A specific set of tools is defined and the number of aggressors is pre-determined; and
• UL 972 – burglary resistance glazing with repetitive ball drops and mechanical properties.

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.

Ballistics and Blast

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.

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. Rating and hazard levels are contained in ASTM F2912.

ASTM F2248 is used with ASTM E1300. It provides the ability to select glass thickness and the type of laminated glass. It recommends that only annealed or heat-strengthened glass be used, and 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).

Other Considerations

Industry experts also answered questions. The first question was about changes for security glazing standards.

Julia Schimmelpenningh, architectural industry technical manager for the advanced material interlayers business at Eastman Chemical Co., said that recent events have shown how well security glazing products work, which has brought on increased awareness.

Another question focused on how glass and glazing requirements for small and large missile impact differ and whether wet glazing is required. Vaughn Schauss, manager of technical consultancy for the Americas at Kuraray, said that for small missile systems, glass is designed with a 0.060-inch interlayer whereas large missile systems are designed with a 0.090-inch interlayer.

“As far as dry versus wet glazing, this is determined by how much the laminated glass deflects during pressure cycling. In small missile testing both lites don’t break so you can use dry glazing even with PVB, but in large missile testing both lites will break. If using PVB it will need to be wet glazed so the glass stays in the frame during cycling,” he said. “Designing with a stiffer interlayer will allow you to go with a dry-glazed system.”

Ivan Zuniga, Kawneer’s product manager for storefronts, entrances and framing, addressed considerations one should bear in mind to improve the survivability of a security glazing system during vandalism or forced entry. He said that, from the inside, glazing storefront systems have become the industry standard for maintaining the integrity of security glazing.

“Having the glass attached to the frame through structural silicone glazing or tape may be necessary. Pay attention to the anchors and keep in mind that the calculations included are often to resist windload forces but not the forces of a security event,” he said.

Current ASTM Standard Specifications and Test Methods for Security Glazing

ASTM E2395 Standard Specification for Voluntary Security Performance of Window and Door Assemblies with Glazing Impact

ASTM E1886 Standard Test Method for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Missile(s) and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials

ASTM F476 Standard Test Methods for Security of Swinging Door Assemblies

ASTM F588 Standard Test Methods for Measuring the Forced Entry Resistance of Window Assemblies, Excluding Glazing Impact

ASTM F842 Standard Test Methods for Measuring the Forced Entry Resistance of Sliding Door Assemblies, Excluding Glazing Impact

ASTM F1233 Standard Test Method for Security Glazing Materials and Systems

ASTM F1642 Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems
Subject to Airblast Loadings

ASTM F1915 Standard Test Methods for Glazing for Detention Facilities

ASTM F2248 Standard Practice for Specifying an Equivalent 3-Second Duration Design Loading for Blast Resistant Glazing Fabricated with Laminated Glass

ASTM F2912 Standard Specification for Glazing and Glazing Systems
Subject to Airblast Loadings

ASTM F3038 Standard Test Method for Time Evaluation of Forced
Entry-Resistant Systems

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.