Fire-Resisting Glass.

Fire-Resisting Glass.

An interesting test of fire-resisting materials and construction was recently carried out in Berlin, under the auspices ®f the fire brigade and the insurance companies of the city. The idea of the tests was mooted as far back as 1889, but there was considerable difficulty in arranging for a series of “fires,” which were intended to be as “natural” as possible, and yet should not be dangerous. Finally, the municipality gave the experimenters the use of an old warehouse for their purpose, and this building, having been fitted up to represent various types of fire-resisting structures, was duly set on fire. Care was taken to subject the exhibits to the temperatures, irregularities of heating, sudden shocks by falling weights or jets of water, etc., which generally occur at conflagrations, and it was found possible to take fairly exact observations. Among the most satisfactory results obtained were with the fire-resisting glass made by Messrs. Siemens of Dresden. The assessors declare it to be most suitable for any skylight or window necessary in a division between separate risks, as it will resist a temperature of 1300 degrees C. for half an hour and more, bearing all manner of shocks and strains without suffering appreciable damage. Care is required in fixing this glass, however, as the iron frames generally used for the purpose buckle under heat and show, between the glass and iron, openings through which flame can pass. Some of the so-called fireproof floors made of iron girders and concrete came to speedy grief in these tests ; while iron and brick floors stood very well, as did the “ Monier ” construction (as to which reference has been already made in The Journal). As regards fireproof doors, nothing stoot^etter than double oak covered with thin sheet iron, between which and the wood there should be a layer of asbestos cloth. Seeing how many warehouse fires are propagated through windows, the assessors attach great importance to their demonstration of the capability of Siemens glass for withstanding flame.

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