Safety & Regulation

The next generation of composite fire doors


he Guardsman Fire Door from ODL Europe is a gamechanger for the fire door sector and gives architects and specifiers the

fire safety credentials they require. ODL Europe’s managing director Nathan Barr explains. For architects and specifiers specifying a fire

door for a project, the requirement on the face of it is simple: it must deliver the required level of fire protection. But beneath that headline requirement, there are a wealth of other factors at play. For example, the door should show consistency over a range of test results and across a range of fabricators. Only then can there be the confidence that the door that has been specified truly has the necessary credentials. Our mission at ODL Europe is to build value

into building products. So when we started to develop a 30-minute fire door two years ago, our aim was simple: a door that eliminated the unknown elements of a composite fire door’s performance and delivered tried and tested, consistent test results. In other words, a fire door that was a gamechanger. We partnered with the engineers at our partners

Capstone, the world-leading supplier of composite door slabs, and a select number of experienced fire door fabricators who shared our ambitions. And we set the bar high. Any 30-minute fire door we brought to the

market would need to pass the European fire test standard of EN 1634, which is the more onerous test standard required by Part B of Building Regulations. We could have relied on British Standard test evidence, but while this ticks all the boxes legally, we knew it doesn’t take a door out of its comfort zone so wouldn’t meet the standards we had set for ourselves. We also needed to eliminate the phenolic foam

that forms the core of an industry-standard 30-minute composite fire door. We knew a solid

core was the way forward and the material we are using is Agrifiber. It is a board material made from resin-bonded agricultural fibres and is a renewable source so has good environmental credentials. Unlike a foam, it is capable of delivering very consistent material densities and at the right density it has both superb structural properties and excellent fire resistance. The result of our six-figure development

investment is the Guardsman Fire Door. It has been tested in glazed and unglazed versions.

It has also been tested across multiple manufacturers. And in the most recent tests to EN 1634, we have achieved an average of 100 per cent overrun past the 30-minute mark. At the extreme, our 30-minute Guardsman fire door achieved over 70 minutes. The doors have been tested as part of a doorset including our TriSYS glazing cassette and a TS008

48 | HMM April/May 2021 |

letterplate. They have reached test ratings they have never achieved before, which demonstrates the importance of the solid core in the construction. Of course, while safety is rightly the first priority

for a fire door, day-to-day practicalities also matter. As a Capstone door it has hardwood stiles and

rails and a 2 mm GRP skin. It means it has all the pedigree you would expect from a composite door developed by a manufacturer with Capstone’s credentials. It is a durable and robust door that is virtually maintenance-free and more than capable of withstanding the realities of everyday use while still maintaining a good-looking appearance. We believe the Guardsman Fire Door is the first

in the next generation of composite fire doors, a generation that delivers better, more reliable protection in the event of fire.

0151 933 0299

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