Fire rated glass is specially designed to resist and contain the spread of flames, smoke, and hot gases for a specific period, allowing for safe evacuation and minimising damage. This type of glass is used in windows, walls, doors, and room dividers in both residential and commercial buildings.
Are there different types of fire rated glass?
Yes, there are several types of fire rated glass, including:
- Ceramic Glass
Ceramic glass is made by a process known as crystallisation, which helps it withstand very high temperatures without breaking. It’s mostly transparent and looks much like regular glass but is particularly effective at resisting heat and fire.
- Georgian Wired Glass
Wired glass contains an embedded mesh of wires. This helps the glass stay intact even when exposed to high temperatures. While not as clear or attractive as other types of glass, it’s a cost-effective solution for certain applications.
What Tests Does Fire Resistant Glass Go Through?
Fire resistant glass goes through various tests to ensure its reliability and effectiveness. These include:
- Integrity Test – Evaluates the glass’s ability to contain flames and not allow them to pass through. Levels of protection are measured in defined time periods:
- 30 minutes integrity only
- 30 minutes Integrity only
- 90 minutes Integrity only
- Insulation Test – Tests the glass’s ability to insulate and not let dangerous levels of heat through.
- Hose Stream Test – This involves exposing the glass to a stream of water while it’s still hot to ensure it can withstand thermal shocks.
What Standards Does Fire Rated Glass Need to Meet?
The regulatory bodies that set the standards for fire-rated glass vary by country. In the UK, fire rated glass for use in building construction must be tested in accordance with various British and European standards. The main British standard for fire rated glass is currently BS 476 series, with the European Standard including BS EN 1363, 1364 and together with BS EN 1634.
The glass must meet specific ratings based on the length of time it can resist fire (e.g., 30 minutes, 60 minutes) and what kind of protection it offers (e.g., just flames, or flames and heat).
Where is Fire Rated Glass Mostly Used?
- Commercial Buildings – In office buildings and shopping centres where a large number of people gather, fire-resistant glass is used in doors and partitions.
- Hospitals – Used in areas where patients might not be able to move quickly, like intensive care.
- Schools – To protect corridors and stairwells, ensuring a safe evacuation route.
- Residential Buildings – In multi-story buildings, fire-resistant glass is used in windows and doors to prevent the spread of fire between floors or apartments.
Shop a Great Selection of Fire Rated Glass Products
Now that you are informed about fire-rated glass, its types, testing, and applications, you might be considering it for your next project. Check out our range of fire-rated glass products to find the perfect fit for your safety requirements and aesthetic preferences.