Jane Embury explains the significance of our fire test
Fire can start anywhere, often from the smallest of causes.
But many specifiers don’t pay enough attention to the fact that a fire can start on either side of a fire-rated glazing system.
In other words, the glazing system will provide protection, but only in one direction.
It’s an issue that Wrightstyle, as a leading international advanced glazing company, has successfully solved.
The company has recently conducted a milestone fire test that now provides a new level of fire safety.
The test at WarringtonFire was on Wrightstyle’s steel and glass advanced curtain wall system.
The test has enormous significance for a diverse range of fire safety applications.
These might include, for example, atria, airports or shopping centres where traditional fire safety glazing only offers one-way protection.
Importantly, the test was carried out with the exterior building surface facing into the furnace.
This made the test significantly more demanding on the system components. But it also now means that the system has been tested to be dual directional fire resistant.
It therefore makes the system an ideal solution in places where a high level of integrity and insulation is required.
That’s particularly important in places where the fire risk could come from either side of the glazing.
It’s also a significant advance in providing fire protection between high risk areas such as car parks and lower risk areas such as offices.
The test also incorporated steel spandrel panels, making it one of the first alternative infill options to achieve two hours of integrity and insulation.
Spandrel panels can have both functional and aesthetic purposes, and generally have to meet thermal, acoustic, fire performance and moisture requirements.
The SR60 system is also fully weather certified, being a gasket glazed system, an enormous advance over more commonly-used tape glazed systems.
Underlining the successful test, target performance was to achieve EI120 (120 minutes integrity and insulation).
In the event, the test ran for a period of 148 minutes, exceeding the criteria for a pass by 23%. Such a comfortable overrun is rare in high-performance tests.
Full furnace temperature was achieved after some 60 minutes into the test, with a peak temperature of 1050 degrees C.
The test module size was three metres by three metres and the test was jointly carried out by Wrightstyle and SCHOTT Technical Glass Solutions GmbH.
SCHOTT is one of the world’s leading speciality glass manufacturers.
Helmut Kugelmann, Sales Director for Fire Resistant and Security Glazing at SCHOTT, commented, “SCHOTT were very happy to work with Wrightstyle in developing this fully-tested safe solution that exceeds local building code requirements.”
The SR60 curtain wall framing system can therefore be installed internally or externally. It also further underlines the capabilities of the system, and its absolute safe functionality.
This gives architects and specifiers new test evidence on our WSL SR60 system, allowing them to push the boundaries of fire safety.
Attributes of the SR60 curtain walling system include:
- Tested to BS476 Part 22 and EN1364-3
- Dual Directional Fire Applications up to EI-148 minutes
- Dry Gasket Glazed
- Pressure Equalised
- Thermally Broken
- Roof Glazing Applications
- Air Permeability AE (> 600 Pa)
- Water Resistance (Pa) RE 1650
- U Value <0.9 W/(m2K)
- Sound Insulation up to Rw48dB
- Burglar Resistant as per DIN EN1627 up to RC3
- Bullet Resistance to BR8
- Steel Faced Spandrel Panels.