How Strong Are uPVC Windows?


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How Strong Are uPVC Windows?

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uPVC Window Strength Misconception

On the topic of uPVC window frames, there are occasionally questions raised about their strength and durability.

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Some individuals confuse uPVC with ordinary plastic, leading to misconceptions about its performance. In this post, we aim to clarify these misconceptions by providing accurate information about the strength and durability of uPVC window frames.

uPVC Windows Are as Strong as Alternatives 

This misconception is an offshoot of the confusion between uPVC and ordinary plastic, leading to a belief that uPVC windows are not as strong as wood or aluminum. It is therefore important to establish that uPVC is a different material with distinct characteristics

uPVC undergoes specific manufacturing processes that makes it extremely rigid and durable. Unlike ordinary plastic, uPVC does not contain plasticizers, making it more resistant to wear and tear. Furthermore, uPVC windows can be reinforced with steel up to 3mm thick, further enhancing their strength. As will be discussed below, this is a common practice for Vistaza when projects require the assurance of strength and stability from its windows.

AAMA & NAFS Window Strength Certification

The strength and durability standards of uPVC window frames is not anecdotal, but as a result of objective testing and certification processes. The American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and the North American Fenestration Standard (NAFS) provide rigorous testing and certification for window products. These certifications ensure that windows meet the required strength and durability standards.

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AAMA certification is a mark of quality and performance for windows, demonstrating that the windows have undergone testing to determine their:

  • structural integrity
  • air infiltration resistance, and 
  • water penetration resistance

Specifically, the windows undergo ASTM 330 Uniform Load Deflection and Uniform Load Structural tests. These tests evaluate the structural performance of the windows under uniform static air pressure differences. The results of these tests ensure that the windows meet the necessary industry standards and are suitable for use in residential and commercial buildings. ASTM grants licenses to individual users, single-site licensees, and multi-site licensees, allowing them to access and use the subscribed ASTM Product. 

Additionally, ASTM E330 is a standard test method used to evaluate the structural performance of exterior windows, doors, skylights, and curtain walls under uniform static air pressure differences. This test is widely used in building codes to confirm the wind shear capabilities of fenestration products and is required for products seeking NAFS compliant reports. The test procedure involves checking the specimen for proper adjustment and operating operable specimens multiple times before testing. 

Deflection-measuring devices are installed, and the load is applied and held for 10 seconds before releasing the pressure difference. Deflection readings and permanent deformation measurements are recorded. The test is repeated in the opposite direction at predetermined load levels. 

Collectively, these tests offer a standardized method for evaluating the structural performance of uPVC windows, ensuring they meet the necessary criteria for performance and can be used with confidence in construction projects.

How Vistaza’s Windows Are Certified

At Vistaza Windows, we incorporate the following practices in our uPVC windows:

  • Steel reinforcements of 2mm to 3mm, above the industry standard of 1.25mm to 1.5mm.
  • Forced Entry testing to evaluate the window’s resistance to break-ins. 
  • AAMA and NAFS testing and certification for our window frames.

By subjecting our windows to rigorous testing, we ensure that they meet the necessary standards for strength and security.

If you have concerns about the strength and durability of uPVC window frames, we invite you to get in touch with us. Our team of experts can provide detailed information about our uPVC windows and address any questions or concerns you may have. We are committed to providing high-quality, durable, and secure uPVC window frames that meet the needs of our customers.

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