Windows, glazing, closures, verandas, garage and factory doors, pedestrian doors: the CSTB has special test facilities for all these building products. Manufacturers have access to a service with optimized processing periods for product quality testing and experimentation. These services are performed in part under COFRAC No. 1-0300 accreditation in Marne-la-Vallée and No. 1-1542 in Grenoble (scope available on www.cofrac.fr). Test results are particularly useful as part of assessments and certifications that promote the quality of products on the market.
Wide range of tests to ensure high quality
Two CSTB test facilities are available to manufacturers of window products seeking to expand their offer on the French market:
- One in Grenoble for testing windows and industrial facility doors and closures (for example, rolling shutters);
- The other in Marne-la-Vallée for all types of windows and verandas, with labs specializing in these products and their components (frames, glazing, etc.). It also assesses interior and pedestrian doors.
The wide range of tests and the quality of its facilities enable the CSTB to offer manufacturers a high-quality flexible service. A product can undergo an array of tests on-site during a given test campaign. In addition, the teams provide manufacturers with workspaces suitable for assembling and dismantling test specimens. This is crucial because the size of the products to be tested, such as garage doors, is sometimes very large.
To check the quality and durability of products, CSTB teams perform customized and standardized tests, some of which are COFRAC accredited. These tests can be carried out as part of technical assessments, NF certification or CE marking. They help assess the performance of products, their fitness for use, their durability over time under various stresses, and quality consistency during the manufacturing process.
Determining product characteristics
Through testing in Grenoble and Marne-la-Vallée, CSTB teams determine various product characteristics, such as:
- Water penetration, air infiltration, wind resistance;
- Mechanical performance and endurance: impact strength, operating force, etc.;
- Resistance to aging.
Two Air, Water, Wind test benches are used to assess very large elements. Measuring 6 m high by 10 m long and 4,5 m high by 7 m long, they have two exhaust openings. A wide range of positive and negative pressures can be applied, and the maximum pressure generated by this test bench is far greater than the requirements of various standards.
Nearly 15 endurance test benches are available at the CSTB, including 10 in Grenoble, which permit simultaneous testing of about 20 models.
Products undergo artificial aging in climatic and ultraviolet radiation enclosures. The effects of light, wind and moisture are simulated, and product performance and appearance before and after aging are compared.
One room is used especially for subjecting test specimens (garage doors, closures, a.o.) to salt spray tests to determine whether this environment causes corrosion and/or has an impact on their operation.
Another feature: an artificial sunlight facility simulates the effects of temperature rise caused by sunshine then thermal shock (projection of cold water). This determines whether exposure of the product to strong sunlight interferes with its operation.
The CSTB can also analyze the solar and light properties of building components, such as glazing, in its dedicated laboratory in Grenoble.
Since 2019, the CSTB has been offering industrial companies services to test their windows for burglar resistance. Tests conducted at the CSTB simulate various techniques used by burglars: strikes with the shoulder (resistance under static loading test) or repeated kicks (resistance under dynamic loading test), and the use of implements like screwdrivers or crowbars (resistance to manual burglary attempts test). The test results show the time it takes for each technique to breach the window, and determines a classification for the products based on their ability to resist break-in attempts.