Performance standards for coatings and finishes applied to fenestration products are well-known and extensively used items in the AAMA document library. We offer standards for finishes applied to aluminum, fiberglass, vinyl, wood and cellulosic composite profiles and all of these areas are seeing considerable activity right now.

Color Measurement
One of the most significant finish-related initiatives currently underway is related to the Hunter color space measurement. Recent presentations at national conferences have unveiled some newer information that different equations and/or tolerances correlate in different ways with visual evaluations.

Though Hunter has served the industry well for several decades, significant advancements in recent years have led AAMA to begin exploring a possible shift to a more modern color space measurement.

Review of Tests
A couple of well-known finish tests are also currently being reviewed in an effort to identify more consistently reproducible results. The falling sand abrasion resistance test is one of these. A small-scale testing project was completed that appears to indicate that maintaining the wear pattern within the specifications stated in the ASTM test method is critical to generating consistent results.

The other test being reviewed is the pencil hardness test, specifically with respect to scratch resistance for finishes on vinyl. The group is currently looking to the automotive industry for possible alternative tests and is also reviewing past work on this topic that was completed under the Vinyl Material Council.

Accelerated Weathering
One of the most commonly discussed performance aspects for finishes is weathering. Outdoor weathering can take as long as 10 years, depending on the applicable standard, so there’s been much interest in recent years in accelerated weathering options. The Aluminum and Vinyl Material Councils are both currently evaluating accelerated weathering test options to determine which may be the most appropriate to include in their finish standards as well as identifying the length of the test and required performance results.

Corrosion Resistance
Of primary interest for finishes on aluminum, particularly within coastal markets is corrosion resistance. As such, work was done that identified the ASTM G85, Annex A5 test as having a better correlation to real-world corrosion performance than the previously used ASTM B117 test. This test has been updated in the AAMA 2605 standard and will also be updated in AAMA 2604 and 2603 as soon as the related testing project is completed, which is expected later this year.

In addition, there is a group conducting corrosion tests using more aggressive methods to identify a test that could possibly be used to develop a separate, stand-alone performance standard that would offer even better corrosion resistance than is currently included in AAMA 2605. This group has specifically included punched/drilled holes and cut ends in their test samples in an effort to account for these post-production inevitabilities.

Document Updates
And although that’s already a lot of finish-related activity, that’s not everything.

The standards for finishes on fiberglass (AAMA 623, 624 and 625) are currently being reviewed and updated in tandem. A combined ballot of these three documents is expected later this year.

For finishes applied to wood and cellulosic composite profiles, there’s also an initiative underway to compare the requirements of AAMA 653 with WDMA T.M. 12. The objective is to try to integrate the best features of each into a single document that will make testing and compliance more reasonable for fenestration companies.

For more information on any of these activities or to get directly involved, please contact me.