Product Research and Testing
Testing has become an increasingly important aspect of Research. New concepts of structure, roof and wall systems, etc. need to be tested to learn of their inadequacies and to find where additional improvement and refinement should be made. We have learned through experience that the tests must be conducted at full scale on as large
a piece of the component or building as is practical to insure interaction of all
components. In addition, testing after the product has been added to the line is important for proof of manufacturing techniques and building code certification of the product. An active patent program is a significant contributor to the maintenance of a leadership position in the buildings field. While the development of patentable
concepts is by no means the exclusive domain of the Research group, there are sound functional reasons why it is a Research activity. Also, the patentable ideas of others in the Division need to be reduced to practice prior to patent application, and this is most easily accomplished at the Research Center.
Structural Strength Research
The structural integrity of a building cannot be taken for granted. Not only must each component meet certain minimum strength requirements, but the combination of those components into a complete structural, roof or wall system must also be certifiably strong, without over designing. Component and system strength are studied with a variety of full scale tests.
Load Testing The Reaction Beam is designed to allow load tests on frames, beams, trusses and more complex structures. The Reaction Beam is large enough to conduct full scale tests. Seventy feet long, three feet deep and weighing 300 pounds per foot, the beam is embedded in four feet of reinforced concrete. This testing apparatus can be used to measure vertical (snow) and horizontal (wind) loads, strains and resultant stresses, and deflections. This versatile research tool has enabled to offer a variety of structurally sound building systems unmatched in the industry.
Roof and Wall System - Load Testing The ability of roof and wall systems to withstand the forces of wind and snow conditions is vitally important. In order to offer the building buyer reliable systems, extensive pressure and wind up-lift tests are conducted in a 12’ by 23’ test chamber. By applying forces to the roof or wall section, this apparatus can simulate snow loads or the force of winds up to 200 mph. Designed to meet and surpass UL requirements and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers test specifications, this equipment has allowed to offer UL Class 90 ratings for all roof systems and meet the requirements for larger full scale roof testing.
Pilot Model Test Area Full scale structures are erected for research and development. New components and structural modifications are tested, as well as new construction techniques. It is within this area that drawing board concepts are tested. Because of this research, new techniques, materials and systems are released to the marketplace only after they have been fully assembled, analyzed and tested.