ASTM E2357 is the standard test method for determining air leakage of air barrier assemblies. Prior to this standard, only the air barrier material could be tested. This standard provides a consistent method for building professionals to evaluate a full air barrier system.
The standard calls for testing each of the elements that make up the air barrier assembly – materials, components, and accessories. It provides an accurate picture of how a fully sealed air barrier assembly withstands simulated wind load conditions that are likely to cause leaks in real-world situations.
To mimic real world conditions two exterior wall mock-ups are assembled. The first is a simple wall assembly with sheathing joints. The second (see image below) is constructed with sheathing joints; roof and foundation tie-ins; brick ties, window openings; and electrical, pipe and ductwork penetrations. Each of the tie-ins and penetrations is fully sealed and flashed to air barrier assembly to ensure it can withstand the simulated conditions required by the ASTM E2357 test. Both wall mock-ups are exposed to positive and negative sustained wind loads of 600PA (71 mph); cyclic loads of 800 Pa (80 mph); gust loads of 1200 Pa (100 mph); and wind pressure loads of 1440 Pa (115 mph).
The cumulative results of the testing will include the air permeance of the material (the amount of air that passes through the material), the air permeance of the components (the amount of air that passes through the material), and the air leakage that results from joining all the pieces together. The air leakage of the air barrier assembly may not exceed 0.2L/(s•m2) @ 75Pa. (0.04 cfm/ft2 @ 1.57 psf).
Mr. Laverne Dalgleish, Executive Director, Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA) has stated, “Air barrier assembly testing in accordance with ASTM E2357 has become a critical requirement in the air barrier industry…. The ATM E2357 test tells the design professional the materials, components and accessories are actually going to work together and stay sealed during the operation of the building.”
ASTM E2357 test verifies the performance and reliability of the air barrier assembly.