American National Standard
Test Procedure and Acceptance Criteria for —
Physical Endurance for Steel Doors, Frames and
Revision of ANSI/SDI A250.4-2001
The primary purpose of this procedure shall
be to establish a standard method of testing
the performance of a steel door mounted in a
hollow metal or channel iron frame installed
with appropriate anchors, under conditions that
might reasonably be considered an accelerated
field operating condition.
The user of this performance standard must
temper his usage with the knowledge that
there are many variables that affect door
and frame performance, such as different hardware, anchors,
glass and louver cutouts, field modification
by parties other than the manufacturer,
environmental factors, such as heat, cold,
1.2 Reference Documents
ANSI/BHMA A156.1-2006 Butts and Hinges
ANSI/BHMA A156.3-2008 Exit Devices
ANSI/BHMA A156.4-2008 Door Controls —
ANSI/BHMA A156.7-2009 Template
2 Apparatus and equipment
The apparatus and equipment used shall be
the same when testing doors or frames with frame
anchors. The main testing structure shall be
constructed as shown in figures 1 and 2. The
structure shall conform to the parts shown,
except the opening width and height are permitted
to vary to allow the testing of various
door sizes. The test frame for testing door or frame shall be anchored
in such a manner as to insure rigidity.
The swinging mechanism shall be in two parts:
2.1 Door opener
The door opener shall be an air motor positioned
at 65° to the plane of the door in its closed position
that will actuate an exit device mounted on the test door. The contact point shall be set to push the door open 60° ± 5°, and retract to allow the door closer to bring the door back into its original closed position and then begin the cycle again. See the specifications
in figures 1 and 1A.
The exit device, door closer and hinges used
in testing shall be selected based on the manufacturer’s
recommendations for the testing level
described in Swing Test Form 1. The manufacturer
and model number shall be recorded in the report. All hardware shall be
applied to the door and frame with fasteners
provided by the hardware manufacturer
(for example, machine screws or sex
bolts) in the location recommended by the
door manufacturer. The hardware shall conform
to the latest editions of American National
Standards ANSI/BHMA A156.1, 3, 4 and
7. The device shall be set to close the door at
a rate of 15 cycles, ±1, per minute.
Inspect all hardware and silencers at regular intervals, and adjust or replace as necessary. It is acceptable to apply lubrication to hinges and exit devices.
Note: Where the applicable BHMA Test Standards
have been followed, this information shall
be recorded in the test report.
3 Preparation for test
The door shall be hung in the frame on the
hinges. Care shall be taken
to ensure the hinges are properly applied to the
door and frame as recommended by the hinge
manufacturer, and any hinge fillers, or shims,
are in place. The clearance between the door
and the frame shall be recorded in the test report.
The door frame shall be securely fastened to
the test frame opening structure in accordance
with the manufacturer’s instructions. The manufacturer
is permitted to select anchors for specific
wall applications (i.e., wood stud anchors
or steel stud anchors, loose or welded in or
existing masonry wall anchors).
Silencers shall be installed on the frame and
the stop face of the door shall contact the
silencers. The frame shall be plumb, square, and rigid.
When applicable, wall surface materials (e.g.,
drywall) shall be applied to the test frame
opening at the frame throat to simulate actual
4 Test specimen
Unless specified otherwise, the test shall be
performed on a 3'-0" x 7'-0" nominal size door. A detailed description of the construction of
the door and the applicable processes such as
welding, bonding, etc. used for attaching components,
shall be recorded in the test report, Swing Test Form 1, under
the “remarks” section.
Unless specified otherwise, the test shall be
performed on a 3'-0" x 7'-0" nominal size frame having
a 5 3/4" jamb depth. A detailed description of the door frame which
shall cover all components used in the frame's
construction, as well as applicable processes
(such as welding, etc.) used for attaching and
connecting components, shall be recorded in the test report, Swing Test
Form 2, under the “remarks” section.
A detailed description of the frame and anchoring
system which shall cover all details of
the anchors, as well as the means of attachment
in the frame and the weight of the door
used for the test shall be recorded in the test report, Swing Test Form 2.
5 Swing test
Duration of the test shall be 250,000 cycles
with latching for Level C doors; 500,000 cycles
with latching for Level B doors; and 1,000,000
cycles with latching for Level A doors. A general
inspection of the door shall be made at
25,000 cycle intervals for the first 100,000
cycles and at 50,000 cycles thereafter. A mechanical
counter or equivalent shall be used
to record the cycles.
The general inspection shall cover perimeter clearances between door and frame and all components
readily accessible, such as face skins,
exposed hinge and lock stiles, flush closing
channels, end closures, hinge reinforcements,
and lock body/face plate reinforcements and shall cover the integrity
of assemble methods
used to connect the door components.
Doors which have passed the cycling criteria
at one level shall be deemed to have passed
all lower levels. The results shall be recorded
on a standard performance report, Swing Test
Duration of the test shall be 250,000 cycles
for Level C frames; 500,000 cycles for Level B
frames; and 1,000,000 cycles for Level A
frames. A general inspection of the frame
shall be made at 25,000 cycle intervals for the
first 100,000 cycles and at 50,000 cycle intervals
The general inspection shall cover perimeter clearances between door and frame and all frame
components readily accessible, such as corner
clips and screws, corner tabs and slots, head
and jamb tabs/slots hinge reinforcements, and
strike reinforcements and shall cover the integrity of assembly methods used to connect the frame components.
Door frames which have passed the cycling
criteria at one level shall be deemed to have
passed all lower levels. The results shall be
recorded as part of the test report, Swing Test
6 Twist test
The twist test is applicable in evaluating door
The deterioration of the door strength during
the cycle test, if any, shall be checked through a
series of twist tests. These twist tests shall be
performed before the cycle test begins and
then at 25,000 cycle intervals for the first
100,000 cycles and at 50,000 cycle intervals
for the balance of the test.
During the twist test, the hinge pins and
silencers shall be removed from the
door and frame assembly and the exit device
shall be unlatched. The door is then clamped
in place as noted in figure 2. If necessary to
facilitate twist testing, the door is permitted
to be taken from the test fixture and installed
in a separate twist fixture. Loads in 30 lb.
increments shall be applied at the upper lock
edge corner through the screw jack and force
gage in the area illustrated in figure 2. The
deflection noted on the dial indicator shall
be plotted against the load applied to the
corner on Twist Test Form 3. A maximum
300 lb. load shall be applied. The load shall
then be reduced in 30 lb. increments and
corresponding deflections recorded and plotted
on Twist Test Form 3. A smooth curve
drawn through the points shall graphically
demonstrate the reaction of the door to increasing
and decreasing pressures at different
At the completion of each twist test, the
hinges shall be reassembled by means of
inserting the hinge pins, silencers shall be reinstalled, the exit devise shall be
latched, and the assembly shall be subjected
to another 25,000 or 50,000 cycles. The
condition of the silencers shall be
noted and replacements made where deemed
7 Acceptance criteria
7.1.1 Doors shall not show any visual indication
of metal fatigue, cracking or deformation
at hardware cutouts or along form
7.1.2 Doors of laminated construction (cores
laminated to face sheets, channels or stiffeners
laminated to face sheets, etc.) shall not
delaminate in excess of 10% of the total surface
area. (Strike the door surface softly with
a mallet to identify delaminated areas, if any).
7.1.3 In doors of welded construction (stiffeners
or channels welded to face sheets, etc.)
breakage of welds shall not exceed 10% of the
total weld of those face stiffeners.
7.1.4 Top, bottom or edge channels shall
remain securely in place, without any weld
7.1.5 Where seams occur on doors, there
shall be no opening or spreading of the seam.
7.1.6 All hardware reinforcements shall remain
securely in place and show no visual
signs of metal fatigue, cracking or deformation.
7.1.7 As a result of the twist test, the maximum
deflection permitted shall not exceed
2 1/2" when loaded to 300 lb. for Level C. For
Level B and Level A doors the maximum deflection
shall not exceed 1 1/4" when loaded to
7.1.8 Permanent deflection for doors shall not
exceed 1/8" when load is removed.
7.1.9 Tapped holes shall not strip.
7.1.10 At the completion of the swing and
twist tests, the door shall be fully operable.
7.1.11 Upon completion of the foregoing
checks and measurements, remove door from
test structure and cut door into four equal
sections with a horizontal and a vertical cut at
the center of the door height and door width.
Internal construction of door shall be inspected visually for delamination, metal fatigue, cracking
and weld failure. The results of this inspection
shall be recorded in the test report.
7.2.1 Frames shall remain plumb, square,
rigid, and show no visual signs of metal fatigue,
cracking, or deformation at hardware
provision cutouts or along form contours.
7.2.2 Corners shall stay aligned with seams
in a closed position.
7.2.3 Perimeter clearances between door and
frame shall not be greater than 1/16" from those
listed at onset of test.
7.2.4 Hardware reinforcements shall remain
securely attached to the frame, with all welds
7.2.5 Tapped holes shall not strip.
7.2.6 At the completion of the test, the frame
shall not limit door operation. If during the test
the door becomes inoperable, it shall be determined
whether a defective door frame, hardware
reinforcement, hinge, frame anchor, etc., caused
the failure and shall be so noted in the test
American National Standard
Approval of an American National Standard requires verification by ANSl
that the requirements for due process, consensus, and other criteria for
approval have been met by the standards developer.
Consensus is established when, in the judgement of the ANSl Board of
Standards Review, substantial agreement has been reached by directly
and materially affected interests. Substantial agreement means much more
than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity. Consensus requires
that all views and objections be considered, and that a concerted effort be
made toward their resolution.
The use of American National Standards is completely voluntary; their
existence does not in any respect preclude anyone, whether they have
approved the standards or not, from manufacturing, marketing, purchasing,
or using products, processes, or procedures not conforming to the standards.
The American National Standards Institute does not develop standards and
will in no circumstances give any interpretation of any American National
Standard. Moreover, no person shall have the right or authority to issue an
interpretation of an American National Standard in the name of the American
National Standards Institute. Requests for interpretations should be
addressed to the secretariat or sponsor whose name appears on the title
page of this standard.
CAUTION NOTICE: This American National Standard may be revised or
withdrawn at any time. The procedures of the American National Standards
Institute require that action be taken periodically to reaffirm, revise, or
withdraw this standard. Purchasers of American National Standards may
receive current information on all standards by calling or writing the
American National Standards Institute.
(This Foreword is not part of American National Standard A250.4-2011)
The material contained in this document has been developed under the auspices of the Technical Committee of the Steel Door Institute.
The original standard was issued on July 28, 1980 and was revised in 1990 and 1998, and the 1998 edition was reaffirmed in 2004. The current edition is a revision of the 1998 document with the contents being updated to reflect changes and advances that have take place in the steel door and frame industry.
Suggestions for improvement gained in the use of this standard are welcome and should be sent to the Steel Door Institute, 30200 Detroit Road, Cleveland, OH 44145-1967.
The organizations that have approved this standard are as follows:
American Institute of Architects
Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association
Canadian Steel Door Manufacturers Association
Cedar Valley Associates
Door and Hardware Institute
Door Control Services
HMMA/Division of NAAMM
Intertek Testing Services
Steel Door Institute
Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
Vetrotech / Saint Gobain
Wind Science & Engineering Research Center
The Accredited Standards Committee A250 TC-1 developed this standard and had the following personnel at the time of approval:
James Urban, Chairman
J. Jeffery Wherry, Secretary
||Name of Representative
|American Institute of Architects
|Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association
|Canadian Steel Door Manufacturers Association
|Cedar Valley Associates
|Ceco Door Products
|Door and Hardware Institute
|Door Control Services
|HMMA/Division of NAAMM
|Intertek Testing Services
|Mesker Door, Inc.
|Pioneer Industries, Inc.
|Security Metal Products
|Steel Door Institute
||J. J. Wherry
|Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
|Vetrotech / Saint Gobain
|Wind Science & Engineering Research Center