Floor Glass exposed to fire and stress loaded


Fire testing of glass constructions provides building manufacturers with an important competitive advantage

As the first building supplier in Denmark, DEKO can now offer its customers horizontal glass panels with REI 30 and REI 60 fire classifications. This affords the company a significant competitive advantage, which can thus offer its customers a glass floor solution, without needing to perform a fire rating for each project.

DEKO's development manager, Finn B. Jahn, talks about the new initiative and on the cooperation with DBI, which was responsible for the fire testing and classifications.

At DEKO we have availed ourselves of the Danish fire test facilities for more than 35 years, when vertical building elements need to be tested and classified for fire resistance. In the beginning, it was performed with the somewhat archaic equipment of the State Test Institution (later Dantest) on Amager Boulevard in Copenhagen. But now the tests take place in the more up-to-date and modern facilities of the DBI - Danish Institute of Fire and Security Technology Institute at Avedøre Holme.

DEKO's vertical building elements cover the entire suite of products, ranging from solid plaster walls with transparent glass walls, non-bearing and separating building elements and fire doors with or without glass, tested and classified according to the old DS system (including the Nordtest methods) and the latest EU standards.

Architects want glass
The use of glass in buildings has evolved dramatically over the last 10-20 years, and the use of fully transparent, vertical, non-load bearing glass walls with EI 30 and EI 60 fire resistance classifications have been a successful product in recent years. Hence, almost five years ago, DEKO made the decision and tested and classified a new concept for fully glass walls in the DBI vertical oven in accordance with the new EU rules.

But architect's desire to use glass in the building elements does not stop at using glass in vertical structures. In recent years, DEKO has delivered a series of projects where horizontal floor surfaces were fitted with transparent glass with fire resistance capabilities. For each of these individual projects, we have used fire ratings issued by DBI, as described in the DBI manual 37 Glass and fire.

However, it is cumbersome having to obtain fire ratings for each individual construction, each time an architect or builder has requested horizontal glass to be used as bearing and separating building elements. To rid ourselves of this individual case management by an accredited testing laboratory, with associated time and economic costs, we have developed a new concept of a supporting structure for horizontally mounted fire glass, which can be stressed. We call it DEKO HG Fire, horizontal glass fire resistance. And, as the first company in Denmark, we can now offer our customers in both Denmark and abroad horizontal floor glass with REI 30 and REI 60 fire classifications, tested and classified by DBI.

Stressed fire testing
The HG Fire element is constructed as a kind of insulating glass with several layers of laminated glass, finished with pressed glass in the structure's upper surface with a space in the middle and fire insulated glass in the glass structure's bottom. All glass used is integrated as tempered or laminated glass, and the overall structure meets the requirements for safety glass. The substructure consists of fire-painted steel profiles which are prepared in a mould, so the building's tolerances and the profiles' length tolerances are absorbed from the start of the construction.

During testing, the structure was stress loaded with 500 kg/m2 and achieved a fire resistance of 30 and 60 minutes as an REI construction. DEKO can now add an R (resistance) to the classification description; a natural result of the load-testing. DEKO's classifications have hitherto only been building elements with either E (integrity), W (radiation) or I (isolation) in the classification description, since none of our other building elements are bearing elements.

DEKO is the first company to implement this type of test at DBI, where civil engineer Anders Drustrup has been responsible for the testing carried out in DBI's large horizontal oven in spring 2010.

The new product complements our product portfolio, as it now also includes bearing elements and enables our customers to design and use horizontal floor glass with REI 30 and REI 60 fire classifications.

Anders Drustrup
Product Manager - Fire resistance M.Sc. Civ.Eng.

Phone : +45 51 57 23 32
Mail : adr|dbi-net.dk

Jernholmen 12
DK-2650 Hvidovre
Tlf. +45 36 34 90 00
Fax +45 36 34 90 01
E-mail: dbi|dbi-net.dk

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