How Innovations in Fire Rated Glass Technology Maximize Vision and Transparency
Glass has long been used by architects to add vision, transparency, and a feeling of openness to otherwise closed-off spaces. Typically, these closed-off spaces, devoid of natural light and vision, are in the fire rated areas because they have, by code, needed to be rated for one hour or more. This dictated the use of opaque building materials like gypsum, brick or drywall. New fire rated glass technology meeting the fire resistive, ASTM E-119/UL263, wall criteria have allowed architects to provide transparency and openness for occupants in these previously daylight void areas. Providing secure and useable space specifically in areas such as, 1 or 2-hour stairwells, property lines and garages. Architects are appreciative of the ways this resistive glazing has enhanced and provided additional function for these spaces. Here are more.
The Largest Tested and Listed Sizes
Fire rated glass size is controlled by application limitations and testing done by independent laboratories such as UL or Intertek. When it comes to achieving maximum transparency in fire rated glazing, size matters. The larger the individual glazing panels a manufacturer has tested and can provide, the less need for mullions or framing. The larger sizes also give the architect more freedom to design the fire rated areas to match the non-rated areas. Today, SAFTI FIRST® has the largest tested 60 and 120 minutes listed sizes for resistive, ASTM E-119/UL- 263, glazing. SuperLite II-XLB 60 has a size limitation of 125 inches height or width, non-directional, not to exceed 10,000 square inches. SuperLite II-XLB 120 has a size limitation of 133 inches height or width, non-directional, not to exceed 7,980 square inches. These new sizes are allowing architects to take full advantage of clear vison in their designs.
Butt-Glazed Wall Applications
Transparency now goes further with butt glazing! The introduction of SuperLite II-XLB 60 and SuperLite II-XLB 120 (Extra Large, Butt-glazed) glazing used for walls up to 2 hours, eliminates the visual obstruction of vertical mullions. SAFTI FIRST®‘s SuperLite II-XLM 60 and SuperLite II-XLM 120 (Extra Large, Multilam) employ a clear silicone caulking at their butt joint. However, while providing less visual notice, they are susceptible to damage of the interlayers from moisture, have smaller sizes, require great care in handling due to breakage, and have other restrictions that limit their use. It is recommended to consult with SAFTI FIRST prior to specifying SuperLite II-XLM.
Door Vision Lites Get an Upgrade
SAFTI FIRST®’s new, patent-pending SUPERCLEAR 45-HS (Hose-Stream) and SUPERCLEAR 45 HS-LI (Hose-Stream, Low-Iron) glazing have large sizes developed for 45-minute non-temperature rise rated doors. Sizes that allow clear views for doors of 3,388 square inches (33 inch width x 99 inch height) non-directional and for sidelites, transoms and openings clear views of 3,880 square inches (96 inches width or height) non-directional. An innovation, in the glazing world, giving clear affordable fire and safety rated glazing in the place of more expensive wire-laced or tinted ceramic glazing. SUPERCLEAR 45 HS and HS-LI both exceed the 400 ft. pound stringent CPSC Cat. II safety requirements for glazing in doors without the film or laminate needed by wire and ceramic fire glazing. This innovative fire and safety glazing technology has allowed architects the freedom to exceed 1,296 square inch area vision code limitations required for products only meeting the lesser CPSC Cat. I (150 ft. lbs.) safety.
Resistive Glazing for 60-90 Minute Doors
Designers can use SAFTI FIRST’s SuperLite II-XL 60 and SuperLite II-XL 90 fire resistive glazing in temperature rise doors. These products have no limitations, other than the size and application they were tested to. Giving door vision areas of 4,952 square inches (124 inches high or wide non-directional), ending the 100 square inch vision panel limitation on fire protective wire and ceramic glazing. To our knowledge, this is more vision area allowed in a fire rated door than any other manufacturer!
Doors Up to 10 Feet
Fire rated doors are now able to meet the architect’s desires for maximum vision and light when specifying fire rated entrance systems. Traditionally, the typical fire rated door size is 3 feet wide by 7 feet tall. Sometimes, it may extend to 8 feet. tall. Adding full vision to rated doors using fire rated glazing make for a more attractive and inviting entrance to any space. SAFTI FIRST®’s full-vision GPX Builders Series Doors, fire rated to 90 minutes and in sizes to 4.5 feet wide by 10 feet tall in single doors and 8 feet wide by 10 feet tall in pairs, gives greater vision for entrances or other door uses where the feeling of grandeur is desired. These larger doors can eliminate the need for a transom to provide a light-filled design. GPX Builders Series Doors come standard or in narrow style, with custom hardware options and multiple finishes that including architectural paint or cladding.