The American Architectural Manufacturers Association has tightened certification standards for vinyl profiles for domestic and offshore manufacturers.
Certification requirements have come under the spotlight since several firms based in the Pacific Rim have begun seeking AAMA certification to compete in the U.S. building materials market. Many U.S.-based producers of vinyl window and door profiles have expressed concern that there is no way to make sure offshore producers do not use lead-based stabilizers.
The revamped testing procedures will take effect Jan. 1, officials said in a news release. The procedures also will apply to AAMA-accredited testing laboratories and licensees of the AAMA certification program.
Officials from Schaumburg, Ill.-based AAMA had no comment before deadline. But in a Nov. 15 news release, AAMA disclosed fundamentals of the program.
One key change is lead-content testing using lead-check swabs.
``One sample of each profile design and color found in the plant must be tested for lead content during the unannounced AAMA inspections, which take place twice a year,'' said Dean Lewis, AAMA product certification manager. ``The lead-check test will be routinely conducted by AAMA-accredited laboratories whenever they test a window, door or skylight assembly, whether for AAMA certification or not.''
Other changes include the following: All AAMA profile licensees are required to provide a complete list of fabricator customers in North America. AAMA also is encouraging licensees to get written permission from noncertifying manufacturer customers allowing unannounced lead-check tests at the fabricators' plants.
New licensees must complete a 12-month weathering test instead of the six-month test previously required. Canadian and U.S. profile extruders applying before Jan. 1 will receive interim certification, providing they already use a weather-tested, AAMA-approved compound. Any licensed, noncompliant extruders can be fined $250,000 and delisted.
Offshore extruders must meet all conditions to be certified, and their profiles must be marked with the country of origin.