Fire-rated Glass

Advances in fire-rated glazings have created more options to protect from the effects of fire. Transparent products have become favored.

How Fire-rated Glazings Work

Fire-rated glazings slow the spread of high heat and flames through a building for a specified period of time. A well-selected integration of fire-rated building products can effectively contain the effects of fire, resulting in greater protection for building inhabitants during an evacuation, and less structural damage.

During a fire, stress caused by uneven heating on regular annealed glass results in quick breakage. Fire-rated glass is engineered to be insensitive to high temperatures and is tested to meet a specific minute ratings that quantify how long it can withstand breakage during a fire. Fire glass is typically rated between 20 and 180 minutes.

There are three basic types of fire-rated glazings: fire protective, heat reflective and fire resistive. Each type offers differing levels of protection from the effects of fire.

Fire Protective

Fire protective glass contains smoke and flames by resisting breakage during a fire. However, it does not prevent radiant heat transfer, which can cause objects on the non-fire side of glass to ignite.

ITI Glass sources Pyran Platinum, a line of transparent fire-protective glazings manufactured by Schott. The glazings can achieve 20- to 180-minute ratings, depending on its application. The product is manufactured using an innovative micro-float process that creates a virtually distortion-free glass-ceramic that has a neutral color and high quality surface finish that requires no polishing.

Pyran Platinum is a 3/16-inch (5mm) monolithic fire-rated glass ceramic with hose stream. The glazing can achieve 20- to 90-minute ratings. Pyran Platinum is not impact safety rated.

» Pyran Platinum Data Sheet (PDF)

Pyran Platinum F is a 3/16-inch filmed fire-rated glazing that is rated to meet 20- to 180-minute applications with hose stream. The glazing is impact safety rated to CPSC 16 CFR 1201 Categories 1 and 2.

» Pyran Platinum F Data Sheet (PDF)

Pyran Platinum L is available in 3/8-inch (9mm). The product is laminated and is impact safety rated to CPSC 16 CFR 1201 Categories 1 and 2. The glazing can achieve 20- to 180-minute ratings with hose stream.

» Pyran Platinum L Data Sheet (PDF)

Heat Reflective

Heat reflective glass provides partial protection from the effects of fire by reflecting radiant heat back to its source.

Fire Resistive

Fire resistive glass contains radiant heat, smoke and flames during a fire. It provides the most protection from the effects of fire. Fire resistive glass is used in applications that require protection for longer than 45 minutes. Some fire resistive products are rated up to 120 minutes.

Wired Glass

Wired glass is not classified as a safety glazing by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Because the product is two times weaker than annealed glass, it breaks easily under stress from high heat and impact, and is not rated to withstand the effects of fire. Because wired glass has an inner layer of wire mesh that holds the glass in place if broken, in the past the product was given an exemption from safety standards in public buildings as a cost-effective alternative to safety glazings. More recently, 2003 IBC and NFPA 5000 building codes eliminated the use of traditional wired glass in the construction of all educational and athletic facilities as advances in fire-rated glazing technology have produced new generations of safer, more affordable fire-rated glazings. Transparent fire-rated glass can be 10 times stronger than traditional wired glass and provides a safer environment for building occupants in case of an evacuation.