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Experimental Studies on Fire Spread Over Glass Façade

[+] Author Affiliations
C. L. Chow

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

W. K. Chow

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China

Paper No. IMECE2010-37363, pp. 415-422; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


There are concerns on the behaviour of glass façade under a big fire. Real-scale experiments on a single-skin façade were carried out at a large laboratory of a sizable aluminum manufacturing plant in Southern China. Burning behaviour of a three-storey high single-skin glass façade with double glazing due to an adjacent big room fire was studied. Part of the façade of width 12 m and height 13 m was installed in a testing tower. A glass pane of the façade was taken out with a model fire chamber placed next to the opening. Flashover in the chamber was set up by burning a 2 MW gasoline fire. Flame and smoke spread from the chamber would move up along the glass façade. Air temperature outside the glazing above the fire chamber was measured. It is observed that flame spread out of the opening will be attached to the upper levels. The glass façade at that level will be heated up and broken. Flame can spread to the room at the upper level. Another flashover fire will then occur with adequate air supply. This scenario on having a post-flashover fire in an adjacent upper room should be included in hazard assessment in buildings with glass façade.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Glass , Fire



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