Motor ... Action! | Istituto Giordano

Motor ... Action!

(Pubbl. 27/03/2017)

These are not scenes from a film, but the live broadcast of a spectacular test in which the 1500 RPM motor of an aircraft propeller generates effects very similar to those of a tropical storm.
Company reps and professionals from the window and door sector came to our laboratories in Gatteo on 24th March to witness first-hand this test on curtain walling, unique to both Italy and Europe, conducted on the AAMA 501.1 test rig.

Equipped with ear protectors and standing upwind to avoid being hit by the water jet, they observed a water penetration test using dynamic pressure generated by an aircraft propeller 2 metres of diameter.

The braver ones also experienced the test “from within” by entering the curtain walling framework and watching the propeller blow a powerful jet of air and water just a few inches from their noses.
Our staff described the characteristics of the test rig and explained the technical considerations behind its construction.

With the propeller off, test parameters were demonstrated along with the effects on the specimen.
Obviously, there was no shortage of questions from the people attending this amazing test.

Although this is fairly new for the Italian market, AAMA 501.1 is a compulsory test standard for sellers of curtain walling, windows and doors in America, Great Britain and non-EU countries (in particular America, Dubai and Middle East countries), dictated by the need to use increasingly resistant products that protect buildings from the heavy storms typical of those areas.
Up to now, Italian companies that needed to carry out tests in accordance with the American AAMA or English CWCT standard have had to go abroad, often straight to America, incurring significant expense. These tests can now be performed in Romagna, using the rig designed entirely by Istituto Giordano’s mechanical and electronic engineering staff (the test has obtained ACCREDIA accreditation).
In the afternoon, the guests were given a tour of the Security and Safety Laboratory where Ing. Paolo Bertini demonstrated all the equipment (much of which was built in-house) and the tests that can be conducted (glass, window and door hardware, windows and doors, safes, etc.).
There was an unexpected but nevertheless welcome request to look round the complex’s five other laboratories: Acoustics, Reaction to Fire, Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators and Optical.
After the visit, we toasted this important achievement in terms of innovation and development following months of research and careful preparation.

A detailed account of the test.
The test involves subjecting the specimen to the air flow produced by an artificial wind generating device, in our case an aircraft propeller, capable of generating a “pulsating dynamic wind”.
The wind generator consists of a three-blade propeller fan, 2 metres of diameter, actuated by a 160 kW three-phase electric motor, whose turbine is driven by a variable frequency inverter capable of altering its rotation speed.
Replacing the usual combustion engine with an extremely powerful electric motor actuated by a semiautomatic computerised system offers precise control of the force of gusts and is also an environmentally-friendly solution.
While the motor is running, the exterior of the specimen is sprayed with water in accordance with the requirements of standard ASTM E 331. The curtain wall or window or door is thus subjected to dynamic pressure and vibrations that reproduce demanding environmental conditions.