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Pyroguard Advance: A Q&A

Earlier this year saw the launch of Pyroguard Advance, the latest addition to our range of cuttable fire safety glass solutions.

Described as the ‘next generation’ of cuttables, we caught up with Steve Goodburn, our Business Development Director, to find out more about its development…

Oxford Academy 2 RT

Can you introduce us to Pyroguard Advance?

Pyroguard Advance is a brand-new, high-performance product and forms the latest addition to our portfolio of cuttable solutions. It utilises innovative gel interlayer technology to deliver exceptional fire protection even at larger pane sizes, with a high tolerance to variations in glazing media.

Certified for use across a wide range of steel and timber profiles (including all leading fire door systems) and with 7mm EW30 and 11mm EW60 products available, Pyroguard Advance conforms to EN 14449 requirements for laminated fire safety glass, as well as being impact tested to BS EN 12600.

 

What were the reasons behind its development?

We were successful in securing a UK Government grant via Innovate UK, which enabled the acceleration of the project’s Experimental Development Phase. Looking at the market, it became clear that there was demand for a cuttable product that offered 60 minutes fire protection and compatibility with many of the simpler sealing solutions that have become increasingly popular. As well as taking cuttable glass to a level of performance that standard resin laminated glass simply could not reach, we also saw an opportunity to develop a product suitable for the composite fire door market.

With all of this in place and supported by a significant capital investment, our R&D teams embarked on the exciting and challenging task of creating a new and innovative intumescent gel interlayer, specially formulated to align with the EN fire test standard. This was then followed by the implementation of an additional production line at our Haydock site.

 

It’s described as being the ‘next generation’ of cuttable fire safety glass – why is this?

That’s because we are now able to offer the market a truly futureproofed solution, tested to the EN standard.

While the British Standards (BS) are the official requirements, it is unclear how long this will remain the case. We are already seeing a significant push within the fire door industry on the EN standard, ahead of a predicted shift by the UK Government. The EN test is renowned for being a more challenging test standard to meet. This is largely due to it involving a physically different way of reading the temperatures within the furnace, leading to a more aggressive fire development at the start of the test that can shave several minutes off the product performance.

A move to the EN standard will undoubtedly be a positive step forward for fire safety; however, it will also see many customers and fire door manufacturers having to look at completely redesigning and retesting their doors to meet the new EN standards.

By successfully testing Pyroguard Advance to EN, we’re already able to offer the industry a high-performance cuttable fire safety glass product, which will meet the regulations for years to come.

 

What does the development of Pyroguard Advance mean for our customers and the wider fabrication market?

It’s really opening the door (pardon the pun) to new options within the industry, with robust test evidence available for a wide range of profiles, systems and sizes, including steel profiles, partitions, timber fire doors and composite fire doors.

We’re particularly excited by the composite door market, which presents new opportunities for us. Following Grenfell, there was a notable shift from specifying E30 (Integrity) to E30/EI15 (Integrity & Insulation) fire safety glass in composite doorsets. The composite test can also present additional challenges compared to traditional timber doors, due to the different door and glazing cassette structures. The development of Pyroguard Advance will now enable us to compete in this market, with a tested and composite door approved solution.

Pyroguard Advance is also the only laminated fire safety glass product to be manufactured in the UK, something we’re all incredibly proud of, meaning its available fast and on short lead-times, with a reduced carbon footprint.

 

What technical support is available?

When it comes to building safety, it’s essential that you’re getting the right technical advice and support, to ensure the correct specifications are being made and the optimum systems are being installed.

With Pyroguard Advance, we wanted this to be the case across the industry, including cuttable glass. That’s why we’ve appointed a dedicated fire door glazing specialist, there to be both a friendly face and a reliable, technical resource for fire door manufacturers and fabricators alike.

 

What’s next for Pyroguard Advance?

While we’re very excited to introduce Pyroguard Advance to the market, we’re always looking ahead – in many ways, this is just the beginning!

As well as exploring the potential that export markets present, with the ability to take Pyroguard Advance overseas, we’re also on the lookout for any additional opportunities to collaborate and test with new system and door manufacturers. It is through these collaborations and testing programmes that we can further develop the Pyroguard Advance range and continue to push its system capabilities. Watch this space…

Learn more about Pyroguard Advance here.

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