Fraunhofer UMSICHT and Hörmann KG Glastechnik scientists have developed a new type of fire-resistant glass that holds well even under extreme heat.
The brainchild of UMSICHT’s Dr. Holger Wack and Damian Hintemann, and Hörmann’s Thomas Baus, this new hydrogel-based product has also won the Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize.
According to the scientists, the new fire-resistant panes do not contain carcinogenic acrylamide, implying they can be processed with no toxicological risks.
Moreover, the production line that makes these fire-protection doors generates just 20 kilograms of process waste a day – as compared to the 150 to 160 kilograms produced in the past.
They also claim that the glass’ production is more automated, process is leaner, and traceability and reproducibility are ensured across the board.
According to the scientists, the fire protection glazing contains a transparent gel rich in water and electrolytes between two glass panes.
In the event of a fire, the glass can withstand flames and heat over 1,000°C for up to 120 minutes.
The pane facing the flames has been designed to shatter, and when it does, it actuates two mechanisms: 1) the water in the gel evaporates and cools the intact second pane, 2) it leads to the formation of a heat-insulating salt layer.
According to the scientists, the very first fire test they carried out after a short time in development already showed promise, with the glass holding up to a 30-minute fire performance trial.
They then scaled it up from the beaker to a demonstration cell at Fraunhofer UMSICHT – all within a span of four years.
The fire-resistant glass is currently being produced in a new Hörmann KG Glastechnik plant at Saarland.
Image and content: Banczerowski/Fraunhofer UMSICHT