Smoke toxicity of rainscreen façades

Peck, Gabrielle, Jones, Nicola orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-1985-5266, Mckenna, Sean Thomas, Glockling, Jim L D, Harbottle, John, Stec, Anna A orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6861-0468 and Hull, T Richard orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-7970-4208 (2020) Smoke toxicity of rainscreen façades. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 403 . p. 123694. ISSN 0304-3894

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The toxic smoke production of four rainscreen façade systems were compared during large-scale fire performance testing on a reduced height BS 8414 test wall. Systems comprising 'non-combustible' aluminium composite material (ACM) with polyisocyanurate (PIR), phenolic foam (PF) and stone wool (SW) insulation, and polyethylene-filled ACM with PIR insulation were tested. Smoke toxicity was measured by sampling gases at two points - the exhaust duct of the main test room and an additional 'kitchen vent', which connects the rainscreen cavity to an occupied area. Although the toxicity of the smoke was similar for the three insulation products with non-combustible ACM, the toxicity of the smoke flowing from the burning cavity through the kitchen vent was greater by factors of 40 and 17 for PIR and PF insulation respectively, when compared to SW. Occupants sheltering in a room connected to the vent are predicted to collapse, and then inhale a lethal concentration of asphyxiant gases. This is the first report quantifying fire conditions within the cavity and assessing smoke toxicity within a rainscreen façade cavity. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.]

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