Brisbane company launches fire-resistant cladding

London's Grenfell tower
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BRISBANE family-owned company ExinTech has launched a fire-resistant cladding product that can withstand temperatures in excess of 1,000 degrees Celsius.

Developed in response to London’s Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the panels drops less than 100gms of ash debris from the nine-metre full scale fire test structure. The product has secured a coveted innovation patent and surpassed every compliance requirement mandated by Australia’s National Construction Code.

ExinTech general manager Anthony Lee said at these temperatures, alternative cladding products including solid aluminium have dropped solid debris fragments as heavy as 20 kilograms, posing significant safety threats in the event of a high-rise fire.

“Unbelievably, the AS 5113 full scale fire test is not a mandatory test for high-rise cladding products in Australia. Building and apartment owners are not aware of this, nor are they aware that some approved cladding replacement products have failed this test,” he added.

Lee said the prevalence of combustible cladding and the extreme risks it presents remains one of the greatest safety threats to built communities.

“Australia’s accelerating urbanisation means more than 1.2 million people reside in multi-storey apartments and an even greater number work from commercial high-rises each day.

“Of these buildings, thousands contain unsafe, highly combustible cladding similar to products used on the Grenfell Tower in West London, where 72 people tragically lost their lives in June 2017,”

“After watching the Grenfell tragedy unfold, we began a three-year journey of innovation and extensive testing to prevent a similar tragedy occurring again – and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

“The proprietary technology in ExinClad fuses Zincanneal steel and Aluminium into one unique high performance non-combustible façade panel,” he continued.

Lee said ExinClad not only passes all statutory and building material compliance requisites of the National Construction Code, it also surpasses Australian compliance requirements having successfully tested to AS 5113 full scale fire testing with the CSIRO.

“It would be incredible to see an Australian innovation on Australian buildings, and worldwide, that is not only fire-safe and resists hail damage, but is conducive to great design outcomes for our cities.”

Lee said most Australian jurisdictions will reach key deadlines in 2021 for advancing rectification work to remove unsafe cladding from the community.

“It is incumbent on all governments to ensure they fully understand all the risks involved during a fire event to ensure one kind of unsafe cladding isn’t being replaced with another,” he said.

ExinClad’s AS 5113 CSIRO full-scale fire testing was undertaken in a NATA accredited laboratory and the results have been independently assessed and supported in a report completed by GHD Engineering.

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