Friday, September 14, 2018

NTA's Test Wall and Impact Cannon: Bigger, Faster, and Smarter

Since 1976, NTA, Inc. has been offering product testing, inspection, and certification to the building products industry. Accredited to ISO 17025 as a testing laboratory, ISO 17020 as an inspection agency, and ISO 17065 as a certification body by the International Accreditation Service (IAS), NTA has long been the go-to third-party provider for companies in the building products arena who need assistance with product testing and/or code evaluation. As part of its building envelope testing services, NTA works with manufacturers of fenestration products (windows, doors), vinyl siding, water-resistive barriers (WRBs), wall systems, and more.

Most recently, NTA has added a new and improved Test Wall and Impact Cannon to its Nappanee, Indiana testing laboratory. The new Test Wall provides air, water, and structural testing on a wide variety of products, and the cannon provides impact testing to simulate windborne debris experienced during a hurricane or tornado event. The Test Wall can be used to establish a product's compliance with standards such as those published by AAMA and ASTM. At 16’ high by 18’ wide, the NTA Test Wall can test one large specimen or multiple smaller specimens at the same time. "For many years, NTA has offered accredited services for air/water/structural and impact testing," says Justin Mann, Operations Manager for NTA's Midwest testing laboratory. "Now with our upgrade

d equipment, we will be more efficient and offer faster turnaround times for our clients, further reducing their time to market and positively impacting their bottom line." To see a short video of a rain demo here, click here.

­The New Impact Cannon Simulates Windborne Debris
An important part of the Test Wall system is the Impact Cannon, which simulates wind borne debris experienced during a hurricane or tornado event. Testing and performance requirements for demonstrating tornado and hurricane resistance are addressed by standards such as ASTM E1886, ASTM E1996, Florida's TAS 201, FEMA 361, and ICC 500. Our powerful new Impact Cannon has the ability to shoot a 9-lb by 8-ft long 2x4 at 128 mph for hurricane testing and a 15-lb by 14-ft long 2x4 at 100 mph for tornado testing. To see a short video of the impact cannon,
click here.

NTA Sets a New Standard for Eco-Conscious Testing
The testing required to demonstrate a product's water penetration resistance uses a lot of water, especially the two-hour wind-driven rain test prescribed by Chapter 14 of the International Building Code (IBC).  Most test labs consume thousands of gallons of water per year.  NTA wanted to do things differently, so we utilize a 300-gallon water tank to recycle the water used for testing.  We are very proud to say that our environmental impact for water waste will be greatly reduced because of our water recycling system.

List of Standards
For those seeking specific standards for testing and/or certification of their products, following is a partial list of standards facilitated by our Test Wall and Impact Cannon:

  • AAMA/WDMA/CSA 101/I.S.2/A440 – "North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for windows, doors, and skylights" Commonly referred to as: NAFS or AAMA 101
  • AAMA 508 – "Voluntary Test Method and Specification for Pressure Equalized Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems"
  • AAMA 509 – "Voluntary Test and Classification Method for Drained and Back Ventilated Rain Screen Wall Cladding Systems"
  • AAMA 1701.2 – "Voluntary Standard for Utilization in Manufactured Housing for Primary Windows and Sliding Glass Doors"
  • AAMA 1702.2 – "Voluntary Standard for Utilization in Manufactured Housing for Swinging Exterior Passage Doors"
  • ASTM D5206 – "Standard Test Method for Windload Resistance of Rigid Plastic Siding"
  • ASTM E72 – "Standard Test Methods of Conducting Strength Tests of Panels for Building Construction" (transverse wind load)
  • Air/Water/Structural Testing:
  • ASTM E283 – "Standard Test Method for Determining Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors Under Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen"
  • ASTM E331 – "Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference"
  • ASTM E547 – "Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls by Cyclic Static Air Pressure Difference"
  • ASTM E330 – "Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Doors, Skylights and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference"
  • 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 E1996 – "Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes"
  • FEMA 361 – "Safe Rooms for Tornadoes and Hurricanes: Guidance for Community and Residential Safe Rooms"
  • ICC 500 – "Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters"
  • ASTM E2273 – "Standard Test Method for Determining the Drainage Efficiency of Exterior Insulation and Finish Systems (EIFS) Clad Wall Assemblies"
  • HUD negative wind load testing
  • Florida Building Code (FBC) High-Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ) and/or Miami-Dade Notice of Acceptance (NOA):
  • TAS 201 – "Impact Test Procedures"
  • TAS 202 – "Criteria for Testing Impact & Nonimpact Resistant Building Envelope Components Using Uniform Static Air Pressure"
  • TAS 203 – "Criteria for Testing Products Subject to Cyclic Wind Pressure Loading"
  • … and a wide variety of ICC-ES Acceptance Criteria

Testing, Inspection, and Certification: All Under One Roof
NTA is a family-owned and -operated company that prides itself on being staffed by customer-oriented technical experts and on offering testing, inspection, and certification services all under one roof.  Manufacturers choose to partner with NTA because our full suite of services increases speed to market. NTA cares about the quality and safety of the products it tests, inspects, and certifies, because we understand that these products have an impact on people throughout the world.

Looking for Help with your Building Product?

For those looking for assistance with testing, inspection, and/or certification of their building products, NTA can help simplify the process. Building product manufacturers find that NTA treats their clients like family. Our process is effective and efficient, plus NTA will assist every step of the way. How do you get started? Send us an email at to let us know what your product is and what you'd like to do, and we will respond within two working days. If you need help immediately – we would love to hear from you – call us at 574.773.7975.

"NTA is dedicated to provide services to ensure products used in construction projects are safe for all families.  Each employee in our organization is part of the NTA family and our family’s mission is to treat clients and end-users of the products and services we certify, as an extension of our family." says Mike Luna, Senior Director of the Building Products Division

About NTA, Inc.

NTA, Inc. is an Approved Agency per Section 1703 of the International Building Code, and has been providing the industry with trustworthy testing, inspection and certification services for many years, giving us a history of excellence in product evaluation, code compliance and certification. Our in-depth understanding of building codes places us in a unique position to help you meet or exceed the applicable codes and regulations. From prototype testing to final certification, we are your 'one-stop-shop' for quickly getting your product to market, and with our highly rated customer service, we make the entire certification process simple, seamless and efficient - saving you valuable time and money.

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