A type of building cladding used on 111 high-rise buildings in the UK failed a fire safety test even faster than the type used on Grenfell Tower.
Tests on aluminium cladding with a plastic and stone core, used on buildings which thousands of people call home, showed that it was consumed by flames in seven minutes, nine seconds – less than a fifth of the minimum required time.
It failed more than 90 seconds sooner than the Grenfell cladding, which held out for eight mins, 45 seconds.
The test was carried out in a warehouse by the Building Research Establishment in Watford, Hertfordshire, on July 30, and the full results were published Thursday night.
Experts built a dummy wall meant to mimic the exterior of Grenfell Tower, and simulated a fire by lighting a stack of wooden pallets underneath it.
Both materials fell significantly short of the minimum 40 minutes they were expected to last.
At its peak, the new type of cladding burned at 675°C, less than the Grenfell variety, which hit 813.9°C. Officials terminated the tests early because the flames had spread so far and had grown taller than the testing area.
- BRE/Business Insider
The test was the second of six ordered by the government on common types of cladding used across the UK.
After the tests, the government published a press release in which it said 111 high-rise buildings (18 metres or taller) use the cladding in the UK. It has issued advice to landlords and building owners on how to make the properties safe.
The new tests are separate from an earlier round, which found that more than 250 buildings failed another type of fire safety test, where smaller pieces of cladding from each individual building were tested, rather than the large-scale demonstration outlined above.
The government has not named specific buildings which failed either test, though some have been identified by landlords, local authorities, NHS trusts, and the media.
Business Insider has been following the results and has published the most comprehensive publicly-available list, which is updated as new information emerges.