Failure modes of glass systems under the extreme heat and pressures of building fires are reasonably well known, yet still hard to predict. In a recent fire simulation on a three-story structure built in India and studied by Underwriters Laboratories, the façade system of toughened glass and aluminum composite panels performed better than expected. That is, the glass did: As the aluminum cladding’s window frames deformed and expanded under heat, “the glass panels did not break due to fire but fell to the ground in intact form,” wrote the captivated research team.
After reading this article, you should be able to:
DESCRIBE the safety and security benefits of fire-rated glazing and window systems.
DISCUSS the opportunities and limitations of fire-rated glazing applications.
COMPARE the competing priorities, codes, and standards related to the specification and detailing of transparent enclosures.
LIST and contrast the systems and products used for fire-rate glass assemblies.