The water penetration tests were carried out using a recently developed test apparatus (Fig. 4) in which both the quantity of water applied to the surface of the test specimen and the air pressure difference across the assembly were automatically regulated. An elevation view of the test frame of the MiniDynamic Wall Testing Facility (m-DWTF) is shown in Fig. 5; a vertical sectional
FIG. 4—Mini-Dynamic Wall Testing Facility configured for testing vertical joint.
view of the same apparatus is given in Fig. 6. Other basic components of the apparatus including the air and water pressure control systems, data acquisition and control systems, and the PC-based central processing unit are illustrated in Fig. 5. The automated setup permits acquiring information on spray rate, pressures differentials, and water collection rates in real-time over the course of a test sequence.
The water spray attachment (rack or individual nozzle) is located on the test frame; the rate of water supplied to the spray attachment is monitored from a flow sensor (Kobold; Model DPM-1170N2F300). The supply water is drained through an opening at the base of the test frame. Likewise, a drain is provided at the base of the test specimen (Fig. 5) to remove water leakage that accumulates in the space just beyond the interior plane of the jointing system. This water may also be collected in a calibrated vessel (Fig. 6) in which is
FIG. 5—Test frame apparatus of Mini-Dynamic Wall Testing Facility.
placed a water level sensor (Intempco; Model LTX20RP-B-3). This permits determining the rate of water collection in the container and hence establishing the rate of leakage through the jointing system.
Air pressure sensors (Druck, Model LPM1110) are located in the test frame portion as well as in the test specimen portion; the pressure in the test frame measures the driving pressure across the entire joint, whereas the pressure sensor located in the test specimen measures the pressure in the space between the weather seal (exterior portion of joint) and the air seal, or the inside of the joint. There is an adaptor to the test frame that permits connecting to an air leakage test device; thus, the air leakage of the test assembly can also be determined using a laminar flow element (Meriam; Model 50MW20-1) coupled to a pressure sensor (not shown).
Hence the basic wind-driven rain parameters at a panel joint can be replicated (i. e., rain deposition, pressure differential) using this apparatus and the conditions at the joint thus simulated in a reproducible manner.