New fire-resistant glazing panels for façades have been introduced in recent years. In fact, manufacturers have started to move away from traditional single and double glazing systems to create more modern and efficient panels. Moreover, the perpetual search for new aesthetic shapes for building facades is on the increase.

Given that the predominant material used in facades is glass, it is especially relevant to obtain a better understanding of how the new shapes of glass panel perform when subjected to fire.

This study compares the behaviour of vertical and inclined (15° from the vertical plane) fire-resistant glass panels when subjected to two kinds of fire: a fully developed fire in a furnace and a localized fire with wood cribs. The dimensions of the glazing system are 1m (w) x 1.5m (h). The tests have been sponsored by two manufacturers. The first tests took place in May 2017 at Efectis Nederland. Fire-resistant glass panels of 13mm (with a 3mm intumescent interlayer) were used. The tests on the second type of glass are scheduled for June 2017.

The tests revealed major differences in terms of the surface temperatures recorded: the average surface temperatures are much higher for the inclined pane. This is due mainly to large hotspots in that pane during the test. In addition, the non-uniform distribution of the intumescent material observed for the inclined panel may raise questions about the influence of inclination. While the vertical panel reached EI15, the inclined panel failed the thermal insulation criterion (I) at six minutes. As the field of direct application of the European Standard allows a maximum angle of +/- 10° from the vertical plane, one might question its validity.

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Contact: Léa Paumond – lea.paumond@efectis.com