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Fire Resistant Glass

Fire Resistant Glass

Date posted: June 15, 2015 // Glass

Fire Resistant Glass Applications in Modern Buildings

Fire resistant glass technology has been incorporated into modern buildings because of the passive resistance offered against the spreading of fires. A common misunderstanding is that fire resistant and fire protective glazing is the same thing. Indeed fire protective refers to the glazing of glass to minimise the spreading of smoke and fire through usage of glass ceramics, such as tempered glass. Such glass is suitable for buildings where the risk of fire is relatively low, whereas fire resistant glass also provides protection against smoke and fire spreading, but has a further protection which minimises the transferring of radiant heat.

With fire resistant glass, various layers of glass together with fire resistant layers are used to make up the sheets. This type of glass is normally used in the corridors or stairways of the emergency exits.

Wired glass is perhaps the best known type of glass to provide some kind of fire protection and has been used for almost a century. Wired glass is certainly cheaper than tempered glass or inter-layered glass, but with a low impact resistance, such glass doesn’t have the required effectiveness to protect against fire and smoke spreading. The newer technologies have replaced wire glass in hazardous areas.

Glass ceramic doesn’t have the wired look and appears almost exactly the same as a normal window, but because the manufacturer has more flexibility in its design, the glass can provide better fire ratings. The ceramic glass is able to withstand fire hose force effectively, making it a safer option. This glass type is furthermore available in insulated glass units. These units have two layers of glass separated by an air space.  Applications range from fully clear to mirrored, tinted and even the low-e glass. The insulated glass units are often installed in areas where noise reduction is essential.

In addition to the above, fire rated glass wall panels are now available. These units are able to block the radiant heat transfer and have about the same ability to resist fires as normal fire protective glazed walls. The units are suitable for applications such as glass doors and wall to wall covering.

Tempered glass doesn’t have the fire ratings of the above new technologies and doesn’t have the same thermal shock resistance. As such, this type of fire protective glass is mostly used in fire doors, where protection must be provided against fires for a period of 10-20 minutes.

Contact us at LIT Africa to assist with the selection, supply and installation of the correct type of fire resistant glass for the areas where you need passive protection against the spreading of fire, heat and smoke.