Aluminum Applications: Fire protection

Filigree structures and a high level of transparency characterise the modern architecture of large-scale projects ranging from administration buildings through to leisure complexes and from hotels to airports. The appearance is determined by glass and aluminium profiles

Transparency is also a feature inside the buildings, with partition walls made from glass and metal profiles ensuring brightness and clear views.

This trend does not come to a halt outside the fire doors either; aluminium is increasingly superseding the steel doors that used to dominate the scene and which at best allowed one restricted vision through narrow windowpanes or portholes.

The transparent façade architecture as well as efforts related to safer escape routes has led to the use of large-format glazed fire doors and smoke doors which add to generously proportioned appearance of the glass façades inside the buildings as well as making escape routes clearly visible from a distance thanks to their transparency, which thus helps avoid panic reactions.

Fire retardant doors usually resist flames for 30 minutes, fire-resistant ones even for 90 minutes. To guarantee this, steel profiles were initially used for the framework and blended with the appearance of the façade by attaching aluminium facings. However, this composite solution appeared relatively massive and contrasted strongly with the façades made from glass and aluminium, which often had a markedly more filigree appearance.

Today, intelligent profile design and the appropriate alloys enable both fire retardant doors and fire-resistant doors having the same sight lines to be produced using only aluminium, with the filigree and slim appearance of the structures of modern glass façades. It is even possible to forgo the use of vertical glazing bars between the individual panes and to join the glass panes endlessly using silicone joints which are barely noticeable.

Modern fire protection and safety for human life and limb is thus presented in a markedly elegant manner, made possible by modern aluminium technology.