Fire rated windows – special safety glass

For hundreds of years fire prevention and fire protection have been the most important response to the question of how to protect any building effectively from the danger of fire. As well as using fireproof paints or various extinguisher systems fire rated windows and doors can play a vital role when it comes to preventing or controlling fires. The tasks of fire rated windows are as follows:

  • Isolation of open flames in areas of inflammable materials (e.g. laboratories and manufacturing plant)
  • Formation of a fire barrier, to prevent uncontrolled spreading of flames in all directions and hence keep escape and rescue routes clear
  • Support to fire fighting teams and extinguishing by creating fire safe zones

For these reasons fire rated glass is mainly installed in larger premises where many people are present. Examples here are such buildings as schools, public offices, hospitals or manufacturing plants.

However, in private households too, fire rated windows are more and more in evidence due to their contribution in saving people’s lives and preventing damage.

Comprehensive glazing spectrum

Fire rated glass can be classified according to its particular properties and abilities as follows. Fire resistance class G offers protection from fire and from smoke, but not from heat itself.

This type of glass, after checking by the planning permission authorities, is only approved for interior use and only in those locations where there are no fears of a build-up of heat.

G-Glass consists mostly of a single sheet of glass with reinforced wire mesh. On the other hand, fire rated glass of class F is not only resistant to both fire and smoke but is also heat resistant and thereby blocks the spread of both fire and heat.

F-Glass consists of two or three sheets of glass which have been covered by a fire-proof foil material. In the spaces between the panes there is a so-called water glass, or aqueous gel fluid, which helps to cool the glass.

Fire rated glass

Where a fire exceeds a certain temperature or the fire rated window gets too hot, the pane nearest to the fire will break releasing the gel. This now foams building a heat-resistant layer for the pane behind it. This production of foam hinders the spreading of flames and heat. Fire rated windows of class F are frequently used in exterior bearing walls.

Fire protection classes G and F

How long a fire rated window must be able to withstand flames and heat is given by the numerical value after the resistance class letter. A window given as F90 can resist fire and smoke for 90 minutes. Fire rated glass thus not only can resist direct flames and heat for a given period, but can be enhanced to take advantage of other types of window.

Fire detector

By applying a particular foil fire rated windows can also be used to reduce noise levels, as thermal insulation, as security against burglary, to provide sun shade and take on other important functions.

G-Glass F-Glass Resistance in minute Properties
G30 F30 30 Fire-retardant
G60 F60 60 Highly fire-retardant
G90 F90 90 Fire-proof
G120 F120 120 Fire-proof
G180 F180 180 Fire-proof
Complete package

Supplementary fire protection systems

Maximum fire protection can be effected, besides choosing the right fire rated glazing, by using suitable fire protection sealing, mounting material and frame.
Without these supplementary components it is not possible to install complete fire barriers; certified fire protection systems of any quality are therefore only offered as complete solutions.

Frame materials are aluminium and timber. UPVC is not offered due to the fact that toxic gases are released when it melts making it unusable for fire protective windows.

Although timber burns well, it is suitable for fire protection as the frame first chars which actually provides extra resistance thus slowing down the advance of any fire. Ferner bietet Holz die ideale Fläche zum Auftragen von feuerresistenten Schutzanstrichen.

Additional fire protection systems

Because timber has been a major house construction material over the last centuries, fire rated windows with timber-finish appearance are particularly well suited for buildings with protected status; the frame of timber has the modern attributes of a fire rated window and retains its original appearance.

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