Large-Scale System Testing

Why is large-scale testing imperative to predict fire performance?

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In the same way that the wheels of a car would not be tested alone in order to assess the performance of the entire car, the fire performance of a cladding system cannot be predicted based on a fire safety check of any any one component in isolation.

In reality, the fire resistance performance of a façade system depends on the interaction of all the components (including fixings, fasteners and sealants) in that system in response to a fire, and also on other design and construction factors such as the position of fire barriers, the size of ventilation gaps and more.

We believe that for buildings with a storey over 18m and/or with public occupancy, large-scale fire safety system checks should underpin compliance for all façade systems regardless of insulation type.

Why do some façade systems only require small-scale fire safety testing?

One route to compliance, which is underpinned by small-scale testing, involves meeting the guidance set out in the NCC.

Non-combustilibility and limited combustibility are both determined by small, bench-scale tests where small samples of materials are tested in isolation, unlike BS 8414 and the AS5113 which tests materials within full wall system assemblies. 

Learn more below.

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Not all Insulation is the Same

Insurer-approved Kingspan FIREsafe™ insulated panel systems undergo rigorous testing for fire reaction and fire resistance. Download our latest brochure here

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