The successful test at WarringtonFire was carried out with the exterior building surface facing into the furnace. The significance is that the SR60 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. The test was extremely demanding on the system components, and 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 23percent. Such a comfortable overrun is rare in high-performance tests,” said Chris Peters, design manager at Wrightstyle. “Its significance is that 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 specified glazing system will provide protection, but only in one direction.”
It’s a safety issue that Wrightstyle, as a leading international advanced glazing company, has recognised as important in, for example, atria, shopping centres or airports. But it’s also a significant advance in providing greater fire protection between high risk areas such as car parks and lower risk areas such as offices – or between buildings.
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.
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.”
“This breakthrough test gives architects and specifiers new evidence on our WSL SR60 system, allowing them to push the boundaries of fire safety,” added Chris Peters. “All our systems are complete and guaranteed, and tested to European, US and Asian standards. We believe in testing everything and were one of the first companies, for example, to test one of our systems against a lorry bomb, which can be seen here.”