InterDam, leading specialist in blast-proof, fire-resistant doors and walls, has made a breakthrough in the testing of larger than standard fireproof doors. For customers, this will mean a faster, smoother project trajectory and lower costs. So what is this breakthrough?
To physically test the integrity of a fireproof door, it has to be put into a sealed test chamber and subjected to fire with temperatures of over 1,000°C for a prolonged period of time. However, the practical difficulties of creating a large enough test chamber has meant that the maximum size door that could be tested was 2.4m x 2.4m. This can be a problem for customers, as R&D manager Paul Goudswaard explains: “If there is large equipment that occasionally needs to be taken in and out through an opening in a wall, a client will obviously need a bigger door. This door needs to be fireproof and safe, which means it has to be officially certified.”
Up to now, large fireproof doors had been certified on a project-by-project basis. In the planning stages, doors larger than the maximum size for physical testing would be designed on the basis of extensive calculations to prove that they met the stringent requirements of the certifying authority. “And we want to point out that we have found this method to be absolutely reliable,” says Goudswaard. “But this method is also time consuming and expensive. A door which has been physically tested doesn’t need to go through this whole process. You can trust it no matter what size it is.”
This is exactly the breakthrough that InterDam has achieved: Through the development of a specially designed furnace, engineers at InterDam can now physically test larger doors to the prescribed rigorous standards. This has effectively increased the maximum size of a fire-tested door to 4.2m x 3.3m. (height x width) “As far as we know,” says Goudswaard, “this is the largest double leaf fireproof door in the world to be successfully tested in this way. And it will more than double the maximum allowed openable area in a structure.
The benefit to InterDam’s customers is clear: a project that requires larger than standard sized fireproof doors can run more efficiently and cost effectively because the necessary certification process will go much faster. Plus there is the confidence that comes with knowing that doors have passed physical tests—another example of InterDam’s customer-centred approach, innovating in response to what customers need: their need to be safe in a simple way.
Based on test results, this door type will be certified as an A60, EI90 and EW 240 fire rating approved double door in accordance to all relevant norms and standards.
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