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How Fire Protection Glass Can Save Lives Without Compromising Design



Fire protection glass is a type of glass that is specifically designed to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke in buildings. It is an essential component of any fire safety plan, as it can help to protect lives and property in the event of a fire.

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In this article, we will explore how fire protection glass works, its various types and applications, and how it can be used to enhance the safety and design of a building.

 
What is Fire Protection Glass?
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Fire protection glass is a type of glass that has been treated or coated to provide a certain level of fire resistance. It is designed to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke, and to provide a means of escape in the event of a fire.


There are several types of fire protection glass, each with unique properties and applications. Some types of fire protection glass are designed to prevent the spread of fire for a certain period of time, while others are designed to provide a clear, unobstructed view for emergency responders.

 
Types of Fire Protection Glass:
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1. *E* Integrity or "E":
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It represents the ability of a construction element, such as glass, to withstand exposure to fire without allowing the transmission of fire or hot gases to the unexposed side. This can prevent the ignition of the unexposed surface or adjacent materials. Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that has been strengthened through the process of tempering, which involves the use of heat or chemicals.


It is typically up to four times stronger than standard annealed glass and has greater tensile strength, wind resistance, and safety in the event of breakage. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into rounded cubes rather than sharp shards. The E Integrity of tempered glass is an essential factor in ensuring the safety of a building in a fire emergency.


2. *EW* Radiation "W":
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It refers to the ability of a construction element, such as glass, to withstand exposure to fire and reduce the risk of fire transmission through radiated heat. The element may also be used to protect people in the vicinity. The Radiation Control factor, which involves the use of a special heat-reflective coating that partially reduces radiant heat, is an important aspect of this classification. This coating can help to prevent the spread of fire and create safe evacuation routes.


3. EI Thermal Insulation "I":
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It is a classification for full heat insulation, which provides the highest level of protection from fire. The fire-resistant glass that has been classified as EI can compartmentalize fire for up to 120 minutes. This means that the glass is able to withstand exposure to high temperatures and prevent the transmission of fire or hot gases to the unexposed side. This can prevent ignition of the unexposed surface or materials adjacent to it, and help to protect people in the vicinity.


EI-classified fire-resistant glass is often used in applications where the highest level of fire protection is required, such as in walls and partitions, doors, and windows. It can be made of various types of glass, such as tempered or laminated glass, and may also have additional features, such as a heat-reflective coating, to enhance its fire resistance properties.

 
How Fire Protection Glass Can Enhance Design:

In addition to its fire protection properties, fire protection glass can also be used to enhance the design of a building. Many types of fire protection glass are available in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns, and can be used to create a unique, visually appealing look.

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For example, fire-rated glass can be used in walls and partitions to create an open, airy feel, while fire-resistant glass can be used in windows and doors to allow for natural light to enter the space.


Overall, fire protection glass is an essential component of any fire safety plan, and can help to save lives without compromising on design. Whether you are designing a new building or retrofitting an existing one, consider using fire-protection glass to enhance the safety and aesthetics of your space.

 
Some unique examples:
1. Zugspitze Mountain Station / Eibsee, Germany:

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In July 2018, the conversion of the mountain station for the new Bavarian Zugspitze cable car line was completed with the opening of the Panorama 2962 summit restaurant. Designed by Hasenauer Architects, the new extension of the building on Germany's highest mountain offers spectacular panoramic views thanks to expansive glazing. Its fire-resistant glass panels ensure safety at the mountain station. The production, delivery, and installation of the glass demanded tremendous efforts from everyone involved.


The main challenge was to equalize the pressure in the glass between the interior and exterior, in the highest construction site in Germany, just under 3,000 meters above sea level, where 176 square meters of Contraflam glass panes were installed in this harsh environment.

2. Westland Distillery / Seattle, WA, USA:
3. The Texelstroom (TESO) / The Netherlands:
 


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