Aim: The aim of the test, performed in accordance with PN-EN 1364-1, was to measure the ability of the designed non-load-bearing glass wall element to stop the spread of fire. A comparative analysis was also conducted to show the differences between various glass partition wall solutions in terms of their fire insulation parameters which should be ensured during fire exposure.

Introduction: Glass has been increasingly used in the construction of buildings due to its transparency and aesthetic qualities. However, such glass constructions must comply with the most stringent requirements, including those concerning fire safety. By definition, the measure of fire insulation is the temperature increase on an unheated surface above a given level. For partition and curtain walls, the limit value of temperature increase at any point of a given partition is 180°C, while the average temperature increase on the glazing cannot exceed 140°C. A barrier is considered as not providing fire insulation when the non-load-bearing wall loses its separation function due to the temperature limit being exceeded on the unheated surface.

Methodology: As a first step, we designed the original solution involving a glass-partition frameless construction. The partition was subjected to fire tests performed in accordance with PN-EN 1363-1 and 1364-1 standards. The parameters compared were temperature over 30 minutes of fire with a two-minute surge from three areas: glass surface, profiles located in the central part of the structure and the peripheral frame attached to the furnace structure.

Conclusions: Each of the constructions showed different fire resistance characteristics. These differences allowed the assessment of their effectiveness as barriers during fire and made it possible to identify the advantages provided by the proposed frameless construction. The partition made of steel sections exhibited the highest heat increase, reaching a maximum average temperature of 120°C. The results for other partitions did not go beyond the 75°C threshold, which was approached the closest by the one made of aluminium profiles. Wooden and frameless constructions provided the most effective protection against temperature transfer. The first one reached a maximum average temperature of 21°C, while the second did not exceed 11°C.

Keywords: fire, glass partition wall, fire protection glass, fire insulation

Type of article: case study