FPA Testing

Intelliclad sensors have completed response time testing carried out by the Fire Protection Association.

When discussing with the Fire Protection Association how to make testing as accurate to a real-life cladding system as possible, it was determined that the maximum void between fire barriers should be 4.5m high by 20m wide. Under those circumstances, intelliclad sensors would be placed into the cavity at the point of which it can cover the maximum amount of space (4.5m x 10m).

A specially designed test rig was constructed 9m high (simulating 2 floors) and 10m wide. The material surrounding the fire source was ACM with a polyethylene core, whilst the rest of the rig was made from A1 non-combustible aluminium to limit the spread of flame. The 2 floors were separated by a horizontal fire barrier, whilst a vertical fire barrier closed off one side of the cavity. Smoke and heat sensors were installed at three locations for comparative results on each floor of the rig, as follows:

  • 10m horizontally from the fire, simulating a 20m wide cavity 

  • 5m horizontally from the fire, simulating a 10m wide cavity 

  • Directly above the fire

Another external heat sensor was installed to replicate the application to balconies.

Sensor activation times were measured relative to the ignition of the fuel source, and the point when the fire broke through the ACM into the cladding cavity (start of cladding

combustion).

In summary, the application of intelliclad sensors to the cavity of a combustible external façade was deemed highly effective for safeguarding residents living in high-risk residential buildings. The results suggest that if smoke from a fire enters the cavity from a window, vent or external fire source, then the sensors in the cavity can sense and alert first responders minutes before the combustible material starts to catch fire and spread across the building. Therefore, its application to alert residents of a fire and assist with the simultaneous evacuation of said residents could be crucial to saving lives.