How to manufacture a reeded glass fire rated unit
Reeded fire rated glazing is a bespoke glazing solution that is both functional and decorative. This combination of fire rated glazing and decorative glass provides interior spaces with a safety barrier in the event of a fire, and privacy as the glazing is not clear.
What is reeded glass?
Reeded glass, also known as fluted glass, refers to glass with distinct vertical grooves. This decorative glazing solution helps to diffuse light and add a certain level of privacy.
The glass pane has smooth vertical patterns that mimic the pattern of smooth flowing water streams, distorting views through the glass surface. To create this pattern, the glass is heated until semi-molten and then metal rollers are pressed onto the pane to create the distinctive pattern.
Reeded fire rated glazing is an unusual glazing solution, but at IQ as everything we do is completely bespoke, if there is a way to achieve something with glass we will find it.
What is fire rated glass?
Fire rated glass is a glazing unit with an intumescent gel interlayer that swells when exposed to heat, providing a protective barrier that slows the spread of fire.
The laminated glass panes are toughened according to the standard EN14449 and ISO 12543-3, and the toughened safety glass panes are in line with EN12150. The glass is impact resistant according to EN 12600.
In the event of a fire, the glass can provide resistance and some fire rated glazing builds an opaque heat barrier which helps to prevent panic as the fire is not visible.
As the fire heats the unit, the exposed panes loosen from the interlayer and shatter, allowing the intumescent gel layer to expand and provide and insulted protective barrier. EI rated glass products not only keep flames and hot gas away from the protected area but also provides temperature insulation on the surface opposite to the fire.
A glazing unit must be able to withstand temperature in excess of 870°C to be classed as fire rated.
Can a fire rated glazing unit be fluted?
A glass unit manufactured using just reeded glass cannot be fire rated by itself. The intumescent gel interlayer must be between standard float glass panes, however, there are two options if you would like reeded fire rated glazing units with this design.
A thin film can be applied to the external face of the outer glass panes on one or both sides, or a fluted glass pane can be laminated into the unit. A reeded pane can be laminated to just one side of the unit or to both sides.
The decorative reeded film is 50 microns thick and covers the face of the glass, some may opt for this as it can be more cost effective.
For genuine reeded glass incorporated into the fire rated glass product the reeded piece must be laminated to a piece of float glass. The maximum size for reeded fire rated glazing is 1650mm wide x 2160mm high per pane, meaning it is applicable for almost all internal glazing sizes.
Fire resistance categories are broken down into three sectors, E-Class, EW-Class and EI-Class. Incorporating a reeded design into the system does not affect the resistance levels. For more information about fire-rated glass, you can read about the different levels of fire resistance categories in our technical article.