Discover Copper Online

Winter 1996

UL's Highest Winds Can't Topple Copper Roofing

Assembling the sample of standing-seam copper roofing inside the wind-uplift test cell at Underwriters Laboratories. The lower positive-pressure chamber is 10x10 feet and nine inches deep. The upper vacuum chamber, also 10x10 feet, has a reinforced steel plate with 30% slope to form a hood with mounted pressure sensors and controls.

Standing-seam copper roofing (SSCR) has passed the Underwriters Laboratories' most-rigorous tests for resistance to the highest winds (UL-90). Now architects, contractors and owners of vulnerable buildings can specify durable SSCR with even greater assurance. In the past, SSCR has passed demanding tests for uplift resistance at independent laboratories, and many architects have specified SSCR based on these tests.

Prestigious UL certification is especially relevant, because each year high winds cause billion of dollars of damage to buildings. Most vulnerable are roofs. And when the roof goes, what's left can sustain catastrophic damage from wind and rain.

One way to cut down on and prevent damage from tornadoes and hurricanes is to install wind-resistant roofs, such as certified SSCR. The tested SSCR roofing was constructed to the specifications of the Copper Development Association. The test was performed according to Procedure 580 at UL's Northbrook, Illinois, facility.

UL engineers created the special test cell to test various metal roofing systems at the behest of insurance carriers that provide coverage for buildings. The test cell can apply both negative and positive pressures simultaneously to test roofing, as well as oscillating pressures to simulate gusts of wind.

The 100-square-foot test roofing was made up of panels of SSCR, with seams 16 inches on center, assembled inside the test cell in the same manner as a real roof. It was subjected to progressively higher pressures culminating in 56 psi negative pressure on top and 48.5 psi positive pressure applied simultaneously to the underside.

According to Greg Rezek, the UL engineer who supervised the four-hour testing, "The panels showed no damage whatsoever."

UL: 847/272-8800

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