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January 14, 2020

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Fire protection

Cladding manufacturer holds fire tests to prove panel safety

A cladding manufacturer has undertaken a series of ‘real life’ tests to prove that it’s cladding products do not burn.

claddingTeaming up with Ulster University, FP McCann has been testing how durable its concrete sandwich panels are during a fire.

The firm says that it’s concrete panels, which contain an internal ‘sandwich’ layer of insulation were exposed to temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees C.

Tests showed that ‘the insulated precast sandwich panels contained the fire while maintaining their structural integrity despite being exposed to multiple fire scenarios.

‘Although explosive spalling on the exposed surface of concrete was observed during the tests, this spalling was relatively small and would have required limited remedial work. During the tests, the PIR insulation core of the sandwich panels remained encased within the layers of the precast concrete.

‘The outer concrete layers, due to their low thermal conductivity, protected the PIR insulation core from direct exposure to heat and flames. As a result, the PIR insulation core remained unharmed.’

FP McCann is now encouraging other manufacturers to carry-out their own tests. The company said: “The aim of this research is to ensure the safety of occupants and properties where the insulated precast sandwich panels are used for building and construction purposes.

“FP McCann’s aim is to build a better and a safer future and would encourage other manufacturers to follow a similar testing schedule and incorporate real scenario fire testing.”

There remains a great deal of controversy surrounding cladding, due to the part it played in the Grenfell Tower fire.

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