The Grenfell Tower tragedy has had significant impacts on legislation and combustible cladding remediation in every built environment, in every city, around the world. Incredibly, there has been no fail-safe solution for building and apartment owners, who are tasked with having to replace one form of unsafe cladding with another says ExinTech.
Australian company ExinTech has launched what it describes as the world’s safest fire-resistant cladding in an effort to address “one of the greatest safety threats to global built communities”.
The patented Exinclad fused steel panel is a new class of non-combustible cladding created from chemically fused zinc annealed steel and aluminium, forming a high-performance, high-tensile, non-combustible facade panel.
Developed in direct response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London in 2017, the panels can withstand temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius, dropping less than 100gms of ash debris from the nine-metre full scale fire test structure – a test adopted under the British Standard BS 8414.
ExinTech general manager, Anthony Lee, says at these temperatures alternative cladding products including solid aluminium have dropped solid debris fragments as heavy as 20kgs, posing significant safety threats in the event of a high-rise fire.
“Combustible cladding is one of the greatest safety threats to global built communities,” Lee says.
“After watching the Grenfell tragedy unfold in 2017, we began a three-year journey of innovation and extensive testing to prevent a similar tragedy occurring again, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.
“In extreme temperatures, our Exinclad Fused Steel Panels actively transfer and dissipate thermal energy using an industry-leading application of Heat Sink Technology. This enables the panels to withstand heat of in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius.
“Not only is it the safest metal cladding product in the world, it also delivers beautiful architectural and sustainable design outcomes.”
Lee says the world’s accelerating urbanisation means hundreds of millions of people reside in multi-storey apartments and an even greater number work from commercial high-rises each day.
“Of these buildings, tens of thousands contain unsafe, highly combustible cladding similar to products used on the Grenfell Tower in West London,” he says.
“The onus to select safe cladding materials is on every participant in a building’s life cycle, from the early planning and design phase, through to product selection, construction, certification, and maintenance.
“Because building safety doesn’t just apply to construction methodology. It must extend to the people who live their lives in these spaces, and the wider community, in the months, years and decades that follow.”
ExinClad not only passes all statutory and building material compliance requisites of Australia’s National Construction Code, it also surpasses Australian compliance requirements having successfully tested to the British Standard BS 8414 as modified to AS 5113 full scale fire testing with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
ExinClad’s BS 8414/AS 5113 CSIRO full-scale fire testing was undertaken in a NATA accredited laboratory and the results have been independently assessed and supported in a report completed by GHD Engineering.
ExinTech is an Australian, family-owned company with over 40 years’ experience in the development and manufacture of wall cladding systems. Its dedication to research and development has positioned it as an innovator within the architectural facade industry and a global leader in the development of non-combustible cladding systems.