FACADE FIRE SECURITY
TGAC - Fire Security Division
TGAC Fire Division specialises in the fabrication, supply, and installation of fire-rated glass and framing products. Incorporating the highest quality fire security glass and framing systems with options for steel, stainless steel and aluminium framing design.
The testing for fire-resistant certification is a detailed process requiring multiple practical tests of each framed product. It’s a process that tests the complete frame and glazed construction. The fire-rated testing is conducted by certified and approved facilities, which conduct each test according to the standards set forth by each certifying body.
The classification for fire resistance gives consideration to two (2) aspects of fire security
1. Time of exposure to the fire - This is the duration of time each product is tested to resist fire; each product specimen is exposed to flames at a minimum temperature of 1925 deg Fahrenheit or 1052 deg Celsius. The product's ability to retain integrity while withstanding the fire, preventing transference of flame and hot gases for a period of time is classified with a number denoting the successfully tested time. The industry recognises this at intervals of 30; 45; 60; 90; 120 minutes.
2. The insulation capability of the product - The product specimens’ ability to prevent heat transfer that would cause combustion of material on the opposite side of the tested specimen. The Insulation characteristics of a product are referred to in three (3) clarifications, each associated with the degree of insulation the window, door, or partition provides: -
A More Detailed Explanation of Testing Insulation
Integrity represents how long the door and its components can prevent the passage of flames and hot gases from the heated side to the non-heated side. However, integrity ratings won’t prevent heat transferring, the insulation capability of the framed glass is not considered. Integrity is denoted as the letter “E”, followed by a number showing the number of minutes the door prevented flames and gases from passing through to the non-heated side.
Radiation maintains the same performance as Integrity – resisting flames and smoke when exposed to fire on one side. However, it will also prevent some of the heat from transferring from the heated side to the non-heated side, which is measured up to 15 kW/m2 of maximum heat transfer. Radiation Control fire resistance is denoted by the letters “EW”, followed by a number showing the duration (in minutes) it will provide resistance.
Insulation offers the highest level of protection from fire. Maintaining the same performance as Integrity, Insulation also prevents any heat from transferring from the heated side to the non-heated side. The letters “EI” represent Insulation, followed by the duration (in minutes) it provides fire resistance. If a product is rated as EI 120 – this means the product will maintain both Integrity and Insulation for up to 120 minutes.
Fire Standards and the Building.
Fire Standards are applied to most, if not all, constructed buildings today. These standards are enforced by various government and authority bodies to oversee the standards for the construction build. More and more attention is being given to the quality of fire-rated products to ensure compliance and certified fire rating approval.
Within the construction industry, there are three (3) main classifications for Fire Testing and the approval for the supply of fire-rated products. The products that TGAC supplies have been tested for Resistance to Fire, according to the international standards (EN / NFPA / ASTM / UL).
Resistance To Fire
Required for systems designed to contain or resist the passage of fire for a specified length of time. This is typical for a door, block wall, glass partition, fire/smoke damper or similar system. The complete system is installed in a frame which is then placed on the vertical open side of the fire testing furnace. The complete system installed for the test is to the exact specification as will be installed in the building, including the same products for all components of the system.
The temperature in the furnace is raised by the computer control system to follow a prescribed time/temperature curve. Various checks are conducted for failure to determine the time rating of the specimen. Whether the building is residential, commercial or industrial, the above standards must be understood and followed. A fire door will compartmentalise a building, preventing a fire from spreading and allowing people inside to evacuate. These standards are laid out by various building regulations and will go a long way to ensuring the protection of both people and property.
Certification is often required by various bodies to confirm testing. An example of this is a Civil Defence Product Approval even though the Civil Defence has no control over the building approval process. Product Certification from bodies, like the Civil Defence, provide an independent correlation between a test report and the product being offered or installed.