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Aluminum Fire Rated Systems

Aluminum fire rated systems?

Although it may seem to be "impossible", true aluminum fire rated glazing systems were developed in Europe in the 1990's, introduced in the USA in 2004, and have been manufactured here since 2007. This patented system is not a clad system, but an extruded system with an engineered infill which provides the fire resistance, integrity and thermal protection making it a fire resistive system.

Combined with full glass operable doors, they provide the designer with a better aesthetic solution, more finish options, and ease of installation.

Two "styles" for the fixed framing are available: a flush glaze storefront style for applications in one-hour rated walls; a curtain wall style for applications in one and two-hour rated walls. For Florida applications, all systems are for interior installation applications.

 The one-hour, storefront style features perimeter snap-stops making for easy glazing, come fully assembled and with nesting vertical for wider openings making assembly easy versus steel core KD stick systems with aluminum covers.

The one and two-hour curtain wall system uses the ladder approach for assembly with larger sizing being supplied in sections, pre-drilled and ready for site final assembly and installation.

Being aluminum a variety of finishes are available including Mill, Clear Anodized (Class I), Bronze and Black Anodized, Polyester and Kynar paint finishes.

The full glass framed doors  compliment the system and offer same finish options as well as a number of options.The more common include exit devices with electric release for use with access systems, and closers with Code compliant electronic hold-open option.

As this is a system, clear fire rated intumescent glass is supplied  to complete the package and offer the "open" look desired for both beauty and security.

Tested and listed by UL, these are fully Code compliant meeting requirements under the 2017 edition of the Florida Building Code.


Customized frame and glass options

Butt glazed wall application - available in one and two hour ratings

Samples of some of the most requested systems featuring different applications and options.


Aesthetics with an eye on security
This dorm building application offers inviting meeting space

These aluminum fire rated systems are performance tested to meet the higher and tougher requirements mandated by the Code under ASTM E-119 / UL 263. This allows designs with larger rated glass areas, in almost cases in excess of 25% wall area.

Why may you have a need? 

Under the recent Code editions, section 715 or 716, depending on the edition date, requires that any assembly requiring a rating in excess of forty-five minutes must meet the requirements under ASTM E119 or UL 263. 

How does this differ from say the common Hollow Metal systems widely used for a number of years?

Under ASTM E119  or UL 263, the systems must meet the requirement of integrity during the fire as well as control of the radiant heat energy. The system must dampen the heat given off from the fire from freely passing through the framing, door and glass from the fire to the non-fire side. This requires:

  • Framing and door sections to be of an insulated style to control this heat and minimize any transfer
  • Use glass, commonly referred to as laminated intumescent, as a component to also allow normal clear view and, in case of fire, to also minimize such heat transfer 
  • Employ special fire rated hardware, tested with the framing and doors, to fit into and operate properly with the sections
  • Test all components, fixed framing, door frames, doors, glass and hardware, together as a System

The standard requires not only the testing, but that such systems be independently listed, under continuous inspection service, and be permanently labeled to show compliance with the standard, its rating and application. This allows for ease of selection and inspection in the field.

Conventional hollow metal fixed frames and non-insulated doors are not designed to meet the ASTM E119 standard and are limited by Code to applications requring a rating of forty-five minutes or less AND are limited to a maximum area of 25% or less of the wall area. 

To meet the various needs of designers and owners for aesthetic looks and Code compliance, systems from Aluflam North America cover rating levels from twenty minutes to two hours, allowing multiple options at competitive pricing.

Contact us for your questions, special glass and hardware options. 

Hollow metal frames for use as sidelights, transoms and borrowed frames can carry ratings of up to 45 minutes only as they do not meet the temperature rise requirements under the Code. For specifics please consult the listing for the products being considered for doors, framing and glazing into them.

 Is this more costly that conventional HM framing and doors? How about the other rated systems which are insulated steel, with and without aluminum covers for aesthetics?

Compared to conventional HM systems, the Aluflam aluminum system is more costly and does not compete directly with applications where those systems may be a better budget fit, yet those conventional systems do have limitations. Once common example is when a designer and owner wishes to have a large open feel with minimum visual obstructions which a HM system may require due to listing maximum sizing for both glazing and frame sizing areas. In such cases a butt-glazed system may be a more costly solution for a 45-minute rated HM system.

In addition on one-hour rated walls, some 45-minute applications may be allowed, but are limited in maximum wall area. Being that Aluflam's systems are tested as wall systems (ASTM E119 / UL 263), that is not a factor in such applications allowing for larger uses.

In comparison with insulated steel and steel core systems, the Aluflam system's pricing is typicall very favorable and does allow more finish and aesthetic options that match up visually with conventional storefront systems.

The specifics of each application affect pricing, so we can assist you with evaluation of a specific project to better define your overall costing with all applicable information on request.

The proprietary system by Aluflam North America features an aluminum extrusion with insulation core allowing ratings of up to one hour for a flush glazed system, and a curtain wall system option with ratings up to two hours.

The factory fabricated system allows for maximum factory assembly, lower field costs and assembly issues, and eliminates achieving an aluminum look via applied cladding.

All systems are tested to requirements under ASTM E119 or UL 263, UL listed and labeled. Sold as systems, which include framing, doors, door hardware and rated glass, this minimizes any issues with compatibility, assures the use of high quality components, and eases coordination and specifications.

Typical configurations such as fixed transom, sidelights and borrowed frames are available to meet project needs, as well as butt-glazing in select sizing. Due to the fabrication techniques used, field assembly and fitting is kept to a minimum, allowing for lower field labor costs and making the system competitive with conventional hollow metal systems, giving you a different and more pleasing look, and a solution over rated steel insulated systems where ratings of one hour and above are required. (Code mandates systems to meet ASTM E119 or UL 263 where the assembly rating is greater than forty-five minutes).

The system is for interior applications only under the 2017 Florida Building Code.

For further information. use of special hardware including security and card access, and budget costing contact us. CAD details and specifications can be accessed on their website, http://www.aluflam-usa.com/.

Aluflam North America Link to Details and Specifications

Rated pair of doors with clear anodized finish