The Truth About Hurricane Shutter Testing. Florida Hurricane Shutter Testing At Assured Storm Protection, we carry three different lines of hurricane shutters.
Hurricane Shutters Are Tested to the Highest Standards
In South Florida we live in the most severe hurricane zone in all of the United States. The quantity and severity of the storms requires that all building products undergo rigorous testing before being approved for sale in our market. What does that mean for accordion shutters? All Hurricane shutters have been tested and passed in a specially designed laboratory that imitates the pressures and effects of flying debris during a hurricane.
In order to make these tests the laboratory is required to utilize specific test protocols and procedures as outlined by the approval bodies – Florida Building Council and Miami-Dade County. Here is a list of the tests conducted on accordion shutters:
- Uniform Static Air Pressure TAS 202, ASTM E330
- Large Missile Impacts TAS 201, ASTM E1996
- Cyclic Wind Pressure Loading TAS 203, ASTM E1886
But what exactly are TAS 202 and ASTM E330? TAS stands for Testing Application Standard and is written as part of the Florida Building Code for evaluation of products used in building envelopes. The test calls for the product to be pressure tested for 30 seconds with both a positive pressure and then 30 seconds with a negative pressure. The ASM E330 test protocol is a similar pressure test to the TAS 202. The reason that accordions Shutters are tested according to both the TAS and the ASTM protocols is to ensure compliance to governing bodies around the United States and the world. The ASTM standards are internationally recognized and used by jurisdictions outside of Florida to ensure product compliance. Accordion Shutters are tested to withstand even higher pressures than required by Florida Building Code and Miami-Dade County.
50ft/s – large missile = 34 miles per hour
130ft/s – small missile = 88.6 miles per hour
Large Missile Impacts
Testing of hurricane shutters requires that the shutter be hit with a large missile. For purposes of the test the large missile is a 2×4 piece of wood between 7 and 9 feet in length. The missile is launched from a cannon and impacts the shutter in at least 2 locations. The Florida Building code chapter 16 specifies that the large missile travel at a speed of 50 ft/s, equivalent to 34 mph. The shutter must be impacted at the corner and in the middle. As an additional Accordion shutters are impacted in two spots in the opposite direction (from the inside). This allows the shutter to be installed in reverse when conditions make it more practical. The large missile impact test measures the amount of deflection of the shutter as well as the permanent deformation. There are two criteria for passing this test – the 2×4 cannot pierce the shutter and the maximum deflection of the shutter must be no more than the height of the shutter divided by 30 or L/30. An example of an actual test result from the SuperNova can be shown as follows:
Specimen height: 104”
L/30: 104/30 = 3.467”
Test Result: PASS
Cyclic Wind Pressure Loading
This test method consists of supplying air to and exhausting air from the test chamber in accordance with a specific test loading program at the rate required to maintain the test pressure differential across the shutter, and observing, measuring, and recording the deflection, deformations, and nature of any distress or failures of the specimen. Beginning at ambient pressure the shutter is then pressurized positively, returned to ambient pressure and then negatively pressurized. This is considered one cycle. Each shutter sample is cycled through positive and negative pressures over 4000 times and the maximum deflection (bending) under pressure is measured. The shutter must not fail during this cyclic testing and must not be deformed more than 10% from its original state upon completion. The maximum design pressure tested for the SuperNova is 160 psf. When a shutter professional installs shutters on your home the first requirement is to determine the pressure applied to each window during a hurricane. This pressure is then compared to a design table in the product approval to determine whether the shutter can withstand at least the pressure applied during a storm.