Projects and Solutions

Testing Water Penetration Resistance of Window Systems Exposed to “Realistic” Dynamic Air Pressures

Water leakage, and particularly water leakage associated with window systems, has been identified as a significant contributor to moisture problems in buildings.

A method for testing a series of windows exposed to simulated real dynamic wind loads is under development. Three vinyl framed residential windows installed in a full scale wood framed house have been tested with the method.

water spray rack

The windows were exposed to realistic fluctuating wind pressures on the surface of a building, obtained from wind tunnel experiments, and were replicated in full-scale using novel pressure loading actuators.

Trace (Targeted) and Achieved Air Pressure at 20 m/s - 113 (690) Pa and 25 m/s - 261 (1270) Pa Mean (Peak) Pressure Traces at Peak Pressure

The incidence of water penetration was compared between static and dynamic pressure tests. It was found that the peak pressures at which the window’s gasket systems could tolerate water exposure were much higher for realistic wind pressures than for those in the static pressure tests.

small (<5 g) and large (>100 g) water leak

The test methodology has the potential of providing greater insights of the performance of such systems exposed to actual severe wind storm conditions.


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Faculty of Engineering • Spencer Engineering Building
The University of Western Ontario
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B9 • Tel: 519-661-2128

Updated June 22, 2010 by contactWE
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