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    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2017
     
    Posted By: CWattersit argued, you could use successful fire tests involving ceramic tiles as a guide to the likely fire safety of a system using aluminium panels
    A bit like the makers of GM seeds who patent their creation because it's effect is dramatically different enough to make lotsa money out of - but escape many rigourous levels of safety testing on grounds that it's 'only 1% changed' from something that's already safety-certified.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2017
     
    That BBC article seems to contradict itself.

    Firstly:

    "Part of the engineers' reasoning was that, in a fire test, you would get similar results if you were to use either combustible aluminium panels or non-combustible ceramic tiles."

    but then:

    "Neither of the reports, though, proposed using the same materials as those used on Grenfell Tower. Both reports related to aluminium cladding containing fire retardants."

    Those statements surely can only be compatible if you consider "fire retardant" panels to be "combustible".

    So, is the fire retardant version of the Grenfell panels still somewhat combustible?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 21st 2017
     
    Posted By: lineweightSo, is the fire retardant version of the Grenfell panels still somewhat combustible?

    Yes. Fire retardant doesn't mean it doesn't burn. Just that it doesn't burn as easily/quickly.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2017
     
    As far as I can make out though, Reynobond FR has a mineral core - not a PE core treated with retardant.

    If the fire engineers were comparing an ACM with a mineral core, with ceramic tiles, then it might well be quite reasonable to say that similar results could be expected.

    I'm not sure I trust the BBC journalist's ability to distinguish between non-combustible/fire retardant/fire restistant and so on.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2017
     
    According to: https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-fire-arconic-idUKKBN19F05C

    "The company manufactures three main types of Reynobond panel-- one with a polyethylene (PE) core, one with a fire retardant core and another with a non-combustible core, according to its website."

    But I only see mention of two types on the Alcoa site. There doesn't seem to be a Reynobond site now. So who knows how many types there have been, how many types there now are, or exactly how they were made.

    Speculation without police or inquiry powers is hard to do and pretty hard even then.
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeJul 22nd 2017 edited
     
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeJul 27th 2017
     
    That report was extremely interesting, thanks Colin. I particularly liked the list of individuals recommended to be arrested, as a starting place for justice. I welcomed the news story today that the council and TMO have been put on notice; it's a good start and will hopefully encourage others to be more sensible in their behaviour. But as I understand it, corporate manslaughter charges don't carry individual responsibility, which is what I think is important. So I hope it is just a good start. I hope eventually we see at least some of those named in the report in jail.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeJul 30th 2017
     
    Posted By: lineweightQuite a lot to read here:

    https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower-a-report-by-architects-for-social-housing/" rel="nofollow" >https://architectsforsocialhousing.wordpress.com/2017/07/21/the-truth-about-grenfell-tower-a-report-by-architects-for-social-housing/


    Thanks, that's a very interesting write up that seems to cover pretty much every aspect of the disaster.

    The Council and TMO may have been at the top of the decision tree and that may make them subject to a corporate manslaughter charge but it seems clear to me the root cause of the problem was much nearer the coal face.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2017 edited
     
  1.  
    One for the GBF Glossary! ACM means Asbestos-Containing Material *and* Aluminium Composite Material.
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2017
     
    Which of these was the Grenfell design?
    • CommentAuthorborpin
    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2017
     
    Anyone else hear the clang of that stable door being closed....
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    I think Grenfell had the first one tested. PIR insulation and ACM with PE filler.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    The results of the 5th test (PIR insulation and ACM with filler of limited combustibility) are out and it passed...

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-test-report-dclg-bs-8414-test-no5
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    Posted By: borpinAnyone else hear the clang of that stable door being closed....



    The question really is what tests if any have companies been using (if any) to justify use of these 6 combinations to date?
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    Surely if there's one thing we've learnt from the past decade it's that we can't trust companies to test and certify their own products?

    That particular horse bolted a long time ago.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    I suspect someone did once get their "broom" tested and certified and then lots of other companies got their brooms certified on the basis that they were similar, just the handle and head had been changed.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    Updated Table..
      Cladding2.jpg
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    The test results so far suggest that other buildings affected will probably only need the panels changing not the insulation as well. Although I suspect Building Control Inspectors will also be looking closely at the fire barriers between floors etc
  2.  
    Over here the equivalent tower flats have been insulated without any cladding, just the normal thin film render. Does the cladding used in the UK serve any purpose other than to give a decoration and to provide a chimney effect to the underlying insulation
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017 edited
     
    Just a different way of keeping the rain off the insulation. I suspect fitting a pre manufactured ACM panel is cheaper than rendering in situ? Rendering probably also requires them to do a much better job of insulating the building (eg no gaps).
    • CommentAuthorgravelld
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2017
     
    I always assumed cladding would be cheaper than rendering (for domestic low rise), but I was told not on these forums... Maybe different at height?
    • CommentAuthorlineweight
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2017
     
    Interesting looking at the timed descriptions of the progress of the fire in the reports.

    Looks like panels with unmodified PE are a no-no regardless of what's behind them. They will burn fiercely and create a self-sustaining fire. So the "system" they are installed in is relatively irrelevant.

    Test 5 passes, leaving the PIR "charred" but not burnt away. That would suggest that the PIR is not the issue, and yet, it's the difference between tests 3 (fail) and 4 (pass). I'm interested to understand why that is. Is it that it doesn't burn away as such, but the charring process somehow contributes to the heat of the fire, turning it into one that can be self-sustaining?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeAug 17th 2017
     
    Posted By: lineweightTest 5 passes, leaving the PIR "charred" but not burnt away. That would suggest that the PIR is not the issue, and yet, it's the difference between tests 3 (fail) and 4 (pass). I'm interested to understand why that is. Is it that it doesn't burn away as such, but the charring process somehow contributes to the heat of the fire, turning it into one that can be self-sustaining?

    It does burn but is self-extinguishing. So as long as there is still some fire around it, it burns and produces toxic smoke especially toxic if the temperature is high enough.

    Both the cladding and the insulation are problematic. I expect the last test will be a revelation.
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2017 edited
     
    It seems the government have added a 7th combination (Phenolic insulation and ACM with fire retardant filler) to the list for testing. The results are out before test 6 and it failed...

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/advice-for-building-owners-large-scale-wall-system-test-7

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fire-test-report-dclg-bs-8414-test-no7
      CladdingX.jpg
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2017
     
    So even the fire retardant version of the aluminium cladding panel isn't good enough with foam insulation (only rockwool).
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2017
     
    As I suspected and predicted earlier, I reckon sheet insulation will be banned for use on tower blocks.

    Have there been any house fires made worse by it yet?
    •  
      CommentAuthorfostertom
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd 2017
     
    Posted By: tonyany house fires
    Gd question.

    But typical rendered insulation is a fundamentally different fire thing from rainscreen with airspace (chimney) behind it.

    Wonder what the effect of domestic feather edge boarding as rainscreen - as opposed to metal or other sheet? The boarding air-leaky so draw-killing inefficient as a chimney.
    • CommentAuthorbarney
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2017
     
    I wouldn't bet on that Tom - my brother has got some vertical cedar board on board cladding on his house - it's basically block inner and outer with a big insulated cavity and the boarding is rainscreen effectively (sits on double 3" x 2" fixed to the blockwork

    I applied a Benson and Hedges in the shadow gap at the bottom a few weeks ago - it was a very effective draw as you'd expect - I was bored and Grenfell came to mind

    What did surprise me was the same test on some of the horizontal lapped boarding - that was also pretty effective even though it's clearly much more leaky (this is flat boarding with edges of boards cut at 45 degrees and about a 3mm gap line)

    It was a warm sunny day so there may already have been some convective circulation occurring - but it certainly drew cigarette smoke quite readily

    Regards

    Barney
    • CommentAuthorCWatters
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd 2017 edited
     
    Posted By: tonyAs I suspected and predicted earlier, I reckon sheet insulation will be banned for use on tower blocks.


    PIR Insulation and an ACM with Limited Combustibility filler passed.
   
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