Aluminium composite cladding with fire-retardant polyethylene filler and phenolic foam insulation fails BRE tests

Grenfell fallout Aluminium composite material cladding with a fire-retardant polyethylene filler and phenolic foam insulation has failed fire tests conducted by BRE. The tests have also identified 22 buildings over 18 metres tall in England that are fitted with this variety of cladding. Cladding samples from each of these buildings also failed combustibility tests.

Results of the latest tests, which were conducted in BRE s Burn Hall, mean the cladding does not conform to building regulations guidance BR135, according to the government s independent expert advisory panel launched in the wake of the Grenfell disaster. The BRE (Building Research Establishment) has been testing a variety of cladding types, to ascertain how various types of cladding panels respond to fire in combination with various types of insulation. The death of at least 80 people in the Grenfell blaze has been at least partly attributed to the rapid combustibility of cladding installed during a refurbishment of the west London tower block in 2016. The fire-retardant polyethylene filler was found to be category 2 in screening tests. The Department for Communities & Local Government will shortly publish final results for the final cladding test for aluminium composite cladding with a limited combustibility filler with mineral wool insulation along with advice to landlords based on findings from all seven large-scale tests.

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