TF30 TF60 fire-rated precast concrete wall panels
Fire-rated glass blocks are required when specified by an architect or when a condition of building regulations, for use in compartmentalised areas, fire escape routes, loft conversions and external boundary walls etc.
Prefabricated 100mm-thick or TF fire glass block panels can be manufactured. However they cannot be installed and secured in place using the two-part U-channel.
Available alternative methods are based on clamping principles, achieved using steel flat plate or L section. If using fire-rated panels (TF collection) the profile must be steel as the flashpoint of aluminium is too low and may fail to retain a panel in the event of a fire.
Precast is always manufactured with a minimum perimeter of 35mm, but generally 50mm, to allow the panel to be clamped.
Panels expand and contract, therefore expansion fibre must be incorporated between the panel and aperture. To the head and both jambs, a minimum of 10mm is required in relation to TF ranges in accordance with fire test criteria.
A bitumen or high-density neoprene is used at the base as a separator to cushion the weight of the panel. The expansion joint is covered by the clamp profile and a mastic seal should be used at the junction where the clamp meets the border (fire-rated silicone for TF panels).
When using interconnecting panels, the connecting joint for TF30 requires two stainless steel reinforcement bars, TF60 requires three bars to meet fire-rated compliance. TF precast ensure panels are prefabricated in accordance with fire test specification.
When installed the clamping frame can be plaster-boarded or covered with architrave as a finishing detail. At the base a cill or window board can be fitted.
How to attain certification
For a fire glass block wall to be warranted and receive a fire certificate it must be installed in strict accordance with the original test conditions. Once the panel has been installed, the client, contractor or installer must contact Glass Block Technology and complete an application form. Upon exchange of the relevant documents certification will be issued.