ASTM E331-00(2023): Standard Test Method For Water Penetration

Building envelope adhering to ASTM E331-00(2023), ASTM E1105-15(2023), and ASTM E547-00(2016) test methods.

Water resistance is a critical performance factor for a building envelope—the physical separator between the conditioned and unconditioned environment of a building including the resistance to air, water, heat, light, and noise transfer. Keeping water out of wall assemblies is crucial for the long-term health of buildings and their occupants. ASTM E331-00(2023): Standard Test Method For Water Penetration Of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, And Curtain Walls By Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference is the standard test method for water penetration of exterior windows, skylights, doors and curtain walls by uniform static air pressure difference. The test determines a product’s resistance to water penetration under these air pressure differences, which can vary greatly.

What Is ASTM E331-00(2023)?

ASTM E331-00(2023) covers the determination of the resistance of exterior windows, curtain walls, skylights, and doors to water penetration when water is applied to the outdoor face and exposed edges simultaneously with a uniform static air pressure at the outdoor face higher than the pressure at the indoor face. ASTM E331-00(2023) testing is performed by applying water to the exterior of the test specimen while lowering the pressure by means of an air chamber built on the inside or opposite side of the test specimen. The water spray system has nozzles spaced on a grid to deliver water so that the test specimen is wet uniformly, including those areas vulnerable to water penetration. This test method addresses water penetration through a manufactured assembly. Water that penetrates the assembly may have adverse effects on the performance of contained materials such as sealants and insulating or laminated glass. This test method does not address these issues.

What Is the Test Method in ASTM E331-00(2023)?

The test method described in ASTM E331-00(2023)  consists of sealing the test specimen into or against one face of a test chamber (or box) with an opening in such a manner that no joints or openings are obstructed. All hardware is now adjusted for maximum tightness without interfering with their operation. Now, air is supplied to or exhausted from the test chamber at the rate required to maintain the test pressure difference across the specimen. Additionally, water is sprayed onto the outdoor face of the specimen at the required rate. The investigator observes and records any signs of water penetration. A comprehensive test report will be issued at the end of the conclusion of testing to verify if the product does or does not meet performance criteria for fenestration products.

What Are the Differences Between ASTM E331, ASTM E1105, and ASTM E547?

ASTM E331-00(2023), ASTM E1105-15(2023), and ASTM E547-00(2016) contain similar test methods for water resistive performance of fenestration products (i.e., exterior windows, skylights, doors, and curtain walls). However, the test methods detailed in the standards have key differences:

  1. ASTM E331 is similar to ASTM E547 with the exception of the way air pressure is applied. ASTM E331 is a uniform test of consistent air pressure; ASTM E547 is a cyclic test during which air pressure is cycled on and off during testing.
  2.  ASTM E1105 is specifically written for field-testing (installed fenestrations) by using either Procedure A (uniform pressure) or Procedure B (cyclic pressure). Uniform pressure means consistent static pressure is applied during a period of 15 minutes; cyclic pressure means the static pressure is cycled, five minutes on, one minute off, for three cycles. In no case, shall the total time be less than 15 minutes unless a failure occurs. 
  3. ASTM E331 describes the test specimen being affixed to the air chamber; ASTM E1105 describes the air chamber being affixed to the test specimen.
  4. ASTM E1105 is the only water infiltration standard that describes the inspection of operable windows.
  5. ASTM E331 and ASTM E547 mention and have diagrams for testing skylights, while ASTM E1105 does not

ASTM E1105-15(2023): Field Determination Of Water Penetration further explains ASTM E1105.

ASTM E331-00(2023): Standard Test Method For Water Penetration Of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, And Curtain Walls By Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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