Kawneer inward opening window resists ‘Category 5 Hurricane’.

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Nick Dardalis

Windows and doors go through an extensive security, weather and performance testing process. These tests include impact and weather simulations and even extensive cycle testing on components such as bifolding door hardware.

Most door and window salespeople are totally unaware of the type of testing that goes into a product they are singing the praises of to secure an order.  One product that undergoes even more severe weather testing is curtain walling. Kawneer Systems is one of many systems companies that subjects their facade glazing systems to extreme testing.

Kawneer aluminium window passes extreme weather test.

a kawneer curtain walling screen undergoing testing using an aeroplane engine to create wind speeds.
A Kawneer curtain walling screen undergoing testing using an aeroplane engine to create wind speeds.

Kawneer recently tested their AA®100 and AA®100 HI aluminium curtain wall system at the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology in Bath. The tests were carried out by Wintech Engineering.

In submitting a curtain walling system for testing, Kawneer provided a 6.3 metre wide and 8-metre high sample. What Kawneer provide in their curtain walling system is an outward opening window.

The pressure exerted during testing forces the seals on an open out window even further back onto the profile. This effectively seals the window even better thanks to the pressure exerted on it.

On this particular test an inward opening Kawneer AA®720 HI Reflex tilt and turn window at 1326mm x 1601mm was used. During testing, an aeroplane engine issued to spray the screen with water at more than three litres per square metre per minute.

Despite the reservations many have on the weather performance of any inward opening window, this particular model from Kawneer’s range passed the test with flying colours.

Even when the pressure exerted on the screen with the window was increased to wind speeds of a Category 5 Hurricane (the most severe), the window still passed without any problems.

Why bother with high specification windows and doors?

One of the many questions asked of this website is why performance standards matter. After all, what is the likelihood of the average tilt and turn window or curtain walling in an office building ever being subjected to such extreme weather, water or the wind?

Our response is similar to those that like to wear divers watches waterproof to 300metres or more. You will never dive to that depth, you many never even have gone on a dive. However, a watch such as this is more than just a waterproof watch. It is a combination of engineering and design to create a product that resists far more than it will ever be subjected to in real life.

High-performance windows and doors such as those by Kawneer are no different. Extreme engineering gives peace of mind to the user.