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FAQs

Blast



Q:

Why is blast testing performed?

A:

Blast testing evaluates the response of a glazing material, glazing system and/or anchorage system against an airblast loading, generated by an explosive event.

Blast testing can be accomplished by two primary means – arena testing and shock tube testing. Arena testing involves detonating a mass of explosive material at a specified distance from the test specimen. Shock tube testing closely simulates an explosive event by suddenly releasing a blast of air in a specific direction.

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Q:

What test methods are used for blast testing?

A:

The most common test methods are ASTM F1642 and GSA TS-01. These standards define the test setup, apparatus, and other general requirements. They also outline performance rating criteria for post test evaluation.

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Q:

Is there a standard test specimen size?

A:

Windows are generally tested on a project-specific basis, as there are no provisions in the standards for acceptance of windows other than the size tested. If testing is not intended for a specific project, GSA TS-01 calls for a size of 48 inches wide by 66 inches tall.

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Q:

What size windows can Architectural Testing, Inc. test?

A:

Architectural Testing’s shock tube can accommodate test specimens up to 7 feet wide by 7 feet tall.

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Q:

How do I determine the appropriate peak pressure and impulse?

A:

Peak pressure and impulse requirements are typically project specific. In addition, the design standards prepared by the Department of Defense and GSA have different baseline peak pressure and impulse requirements. Three predominant blast loads and their associated standards are:

  • 4 psi / 28 psi-msec (GSA level C)
  • 6 psi / 42 psi-msec (DoD conventional standoff)
  • 10 psi / 89 psi-msec (GSA level D)

A test to a particular blast load, in terms of peak pressure and impulse, will qualify a product to all levels below the test load. Clients should consult the project specification or a blast consultant for the appropriate test parameters.

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Q:

How many windows do I need to test?

A:

ASTM F1642 requires a minimum of three identical specimens to be tested.

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Q:

What do I need to prove compliance with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC)?

A:

UFC 4-010-01 defines the requirements for both new and existing construction on all projects under the DoD’s jurisdiction. It specifies prescriptive design requirements, but allows analysis or testing to ASTM F1642 to demonstrate the performance of a window system.

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Q:

How do I certify my windows?

A:

Certification is the process by which the manufacturer and an outside agency assure the purchaser that the window meets certain standards. The manufacturer must test the window and have an independent inspection agency or certification administrator inspect the manufacturing facilities and quality control procedures used in the manufacturing process. When all of the requirements have been met for the certification process, the window can be labeled by the manufacturer with the rating achieved for that particular window type and size.

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Q:

Can Architectural Testing, Inc certify my windows?

A:

Through our AAMA-endorsed Security Fenestration Product Rating and Certification Program, Architectural Testing, Inc can certify your blast resistant products.

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Q:

How soon can I test and how long does it take to get the report?

A:

Testing can typically be scheduled within 3 weeks of Architectural Testing receiving written authorization. The final report will be completed within 2 weeks of receipt of all required information, including product drawings.

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Q:

What do I need to get started?

A:

We require the following information to provide a quotation:

  • Window (or product) type and size
  • Test specification
  • Blast load, in terms of peak pressure and impulse
  • Product drawings
  • Product Series / Model No.

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Q:

Who do I contact?

A:

Blast Information
email: info@archtest.com
phone: 717-764-7700
fax: 717-764-4129

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