From Europe to the Middle East, infernos ripping through buildings are happening at a frightening regularity. More often than not these accidents result in heavy casualties, besides causing immense loss to properties.
The recent blaze at the 84-storey Torch Tower in Dubai’s up-class Marina Beach residential area is for the second time in two years. Luckily, it had a close shave as no casualties were reported. London’s Grenfell tower was not as lucky though. Two months back a fateful blaze took away more than eighty lives. In both the incidents highly flammable cladding material was held responsible by many for the rapid spread of fire.
With a high population density, an incident of this magnitude can cause even greater tragedy in India. ACP cladded high-rises is a modern day requirement. But these are cladded with non-fire-retardant ACPs or at times, the building materials are actually tinderboxes, which can burst into flames any day.
With infernos becoming commonplace worldwide, fire-rated materials and fire rated construction are something that cannot be ignored anymore. The major focus of all architects and builders should be to make a building fire casualty proof.
Aludecor, as a responsible company is trying to sensitize the industry, about the importance of using FR ACP. “We as an ACP manufacturer do have the responsibility of informing the market about the importance of the fire retardant ACP. In all our promotional meets we make it a point to devote a fair amount of time to talk about FR ACP”, says Aludecor CMD, Ashok Kumar Bhaiya.
Now let us take a look at how FR ACPs work.
A typical ACP clad Indian building façade has a frame structure comprising non-load bearing brick wall, followed by plaster, steel frame and ACP envelope fixed on the frame. One of the criteria of fire resistance is that the ACP envelope will contain fire and retain its structural integrity for 2 hours. The 2 hour window provides the time for evacuation. An authentic fire resistance rating also takes in to account that smoke kills faster than fire and other vital factors. Also when water is applied on the façade through fire hose to douse the flames, the FR ACPs won’t disintegrate from the structure. According to reports, in London’s Grenfell Tower, the ACPs used for cladding were a cheaper, less flame resistant material which came off the building as fire engulfed it.
Industry experts and building materials manufacturers in India feel that the National Building Code of our country should make compliance to codes pertaining to fire protection, mandatory. NBC, according to them, should also introduce relevant codes for fire testing methods and reaction to fire as well.
Aludecor’s FireWall has 71% mineral content and is made with AA5005 alloy. It is a tried and tested non-halogenated FR ACP. What makes it a trusted choice for thousands of architects and engineers? Let us get a load.
- It does not produce toxic gases that cause death. 80% of casualty in fire accidents is caused by smoke.
- It does not blur vision and thus make it easy for people to escape.
- It does not release excessive heat onto other flammable materials.
- For 2 hours, as an exterior cladding of a typical Indian construction, it would not contribute to rapid flame spread towards the upper floors of the building.
- It does not melt into flaming droplets and come off the façade. Flaming droplets turn into innocuous dust particles.
- It does not come off the façade when the building is doused with water through fire hose.
- It is Exova certified.
- Magnesium Hydroxide (MDH) is the non-halogenated material that is mixed with Polyethylene to form the core of Aludecor’s FR products. MDH delays the Polyethylene from getting transformed from solid to plastic state to the point of ignition, up to 3600C, by releasing water molecules and bringing down the temperature continuously.
Aludecor is the most trusted source of FR ACPs in India. At Aludecor the end-to-end production facility is fool-proof and meets global standards. Both of the production units spread over 25,000 sq. m. at Haridwar are equipped with up-to-date technology and testing facilities. The stringent quality control
system keeps an eye on each and every unit produced.
“We are using different marketing channels to talk about FR ACP time and again. Even in one on one client meetings our team talks about FR ACP as a mandate, not as a part of sales pitch, but with the attitude of just informing the industry”, assures Mr. Ashok Kumar Bhaiya.