Reassurance for rainscreen cladding system customers
Bailey Total Building Envelope offers its sincere condolences to those involved in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
As manufacturers and suppliers of metal rainscreen cladding, we want to reassure our customers that we have never supplied Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding, which is one of the materials currently under investigation in connection with the fire.
ACM panels are made from two thin aluminium sheets bonded to a non-aluminium core, such as polyethylene.
All of our cladding systems consist of solid aluminium folded sheets. Some of these systems, Fusion for example, use an expanded aluminium honeycomb core for added rigidity and stiffness, bonded to a solid aluminium folded shell. The panels are then finished, either anodised or polyester powder coated (PPC).
Aluminium is non-combustible, as denoted by British Standard BS 476, and scores highly when tested on the fire resistance versus fire spreading scale.
Most aluminium alloys have a melting point between 600 and 660 degrees Celsius. Therefore when aluminium is exposed to fire for a prolonged period, it will begin to melt once the temperature has reached the metal’s melting point, rather than burn.
Due to its thermal conductivity, when aluminium is exposed to fire it can quickly dissipate large amounts of heat from the flames and absorb further thermal energy from the centre of the fire, ‘cooling’ the environment and restricting ‘very hot spots’. These heat levels are comparatively greater than those of iron when exposed to fire, therefore aluminium offers a comparatively higher response time to firefighters.
Fire regulations are complex and there is no ‘catch all’ procedure. However, as manufacturers we are committed to providing the safest products possible. A London Underground certification authorises our rainscreen cladding systems for use on their premises, confirming compliance with the requirements of the Fire Precautions (Sub-surface Railway Stations) (England) Regulations 2009.
Akzo Nobel, our polyester powder coating supplier, has fire tested the coating we use on our systems and these meet the criteria for Class 0 building regulation approval.
Our cladding systems are highly bespoke to each building design. The overall assembly and final installation of the system is unique to each project application and must be completed to the highest standard to ensure regulations are met.
Please be aware, we do not design, specify or supply any other component parts of the rainscreen cladding build-up, such as;
- Breather membranes
- Vapour control layers
- Fire barriers
- Fire compartmentation
These elements are strictly the responsibility of the principal designer and/or specialist contractor/installer.
We are dedicated to supplying safe, high performance building envelope systems, and have been doing so for more than 40 years. If you have any questions or require technical support regarding any of our products or services, please get in touch with the Bailey team on +44 (0) 800 849 8558.