More than 30 years ago, the Steel Door Institute created a standard to set uniform testing procedures for door, frame, and hardware durability. The standard also provided manufacturers with a consistent method for evaluating life-cycle testing of hollow metal components and assembly. It was adopted by ANSI in 1994, and has undergone multiple revisions since. Today it is called ANSI/SDI A250.4 (Test Procedure and Acceptance Criteria for Physical Endurance for Steel Doors, Frames and Frame Anchors).
The emphasis of the standard is on the cycle test and twist test, which replicate onsite use and abuse. ANSI/SDI A250.4 specifies three levels of opening performance. At the completion of the tests, the doors and frames undergo a 17-point inspection to determine if they have passed.
ANSI/SDI A250.4 is not specified directly, but rather provides the underlying data for other standards. For example, ANSI/SDI A250.8(Recommended Specifications for Standard Doors and Frames) includes and requires “The physical performance levels [to be] determined by testing assemblies in accordance with ANSI/SDI A250.4.”
The most recent revision was in 2011. ANSI standards must be reviewed every five years, so even if the changes are minimal, design professionals can be assured the information is up-to-date.