Things like processing stress, heat reversion and impact resistance are pretty tough to spot - until it's too late. So Milgard's in-house laboratory challenges their vinyl profiles against climates and conditions like you've never seen (not on this planet). Like their 180° F heat reversion test. Or their brutal 300° F blister test.
Closer to conditions you're used to, Milgard routinely tests their vinyl material in the heat of the Nevada desert, in corrosive coastal regions and in the frigid cold of Alaska. All to make sure your windows perform flawlessly no matter where they end up. In fact, Milgard's vinyl profiles exceed the voluntary American Architectural Manufacturers Association's stringent requirements for weather resistance, impact resistance and heat reversion. Look for the GOLD LABEL!
Even Milgard's raw compounds are regularly tested for moisture content and consistency. Every step of the process must be perfect to ensure a top quality product.
Milgard's vinyl profiles are certified by AAMA who conduct unanounced inspections of their process, compound and laboratory twice a year as well as independently validate their lab results.
Heat Reversion Test
Extrusion sample is placed in 180° water for 1/2 hour and checked for any reversion or deformation from stresses in the material. Metal calipers mark the extrusion at a specified distance before and after the hot water. Milgard looks for unequal stresses that might be released over time. This (the stress balancing) is another area where Milgard leads the industry.
Extrusion sample is placed in 300° oven for 1 hour and inspected for any blistering, bubbling or major deformation.
Milgard uses a qualitative "dart" test where they measure the force required to pierce an extrusion sample. Milgard's results far exceed the AAMA requirements. They also use a ball drop test to test for impact resistance in cold climates. A steel ball is dropped 6 feet onto an extrusion sample chilled to 6.4° Fahrenheit (-20 C).
Desert Performance Evaluation
Milgard's mobile test unit tests their vinyl in the extreme heat and UV of the Southern Nevada desert. This area has the largest daytime/nighttime temperature swings in the country.
To date, Milgard vinyl windows have performed extremely well, despite the heat and harsh UV. This test helps illustrate not only their extrusion excellence, but also how well their glazing units, hardware, rollers, screens, etc. hold up in real world situations.
Under AAMA specifications, Milgard tests their vinyl windows for impact resistance and color shifts over a period of over five years. The material is first tested for a "benchmark" of color by an independent laboratory. It is then placed in an outdoor setting in Florida and tested again at 6 months, 12 months, then yearly for a five year period. If the color of the vinyl shifts beyond the AAMA requirement, Milgard fails the test and cannot label their products.
Real World Testing
Milgard vinyl windows are monitored in homes in the frigid cold of Alaska, the heat of Arizona and Las Vegas, the coastal humidity of Hawaii, and the Ultraviolet of Telluride, Colorado.
National Testing Standards
Milgard's aggressive testing program follows the strict requirements of national governing bodies such as:
AAMA -- The American Architectural Manufacturers Association
WDMA - Window and Door Manufacturers of America.
Milgard tests all of their products to AAMA and WDMA standards for four mandatory performance requirements: 1) resistance to air infiltration, 2) resistance to water leakage and 3) structural adequacy to withstand wind loads, 4) forced entry.
NFRC - National Fenestration Rating Council.
Milgard tests to NFRC standards for thermal values (U-factors), solar heat gain coefficient and visible light transmittance as required by state building codes.