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Danube Group launches new panel to improve fire safety

Dubai Civil Defence approves the Middle East’s first A1 Non-Combustible External Wall Façade System

Danube Group launches a new panel to improve fire safety

Alucopanel, a UAE home-grown Aluminum Composite Panel (ACP) brand, today announces the launch of the region’s first government-approved A1 non-combustible grade ACP, particularly recommended for building projects where a very high level of fire protection is prescribed, especially high-rise buildings or schools, hospitals, shopping malls etc. In case of fire incidents in any buildings, Alucopanel A1 will never contribute to fire at all, thanks to the new A1 core technology.

Dubai Civil Defence has certified Alucopanel A1 ACP for installation on building façade. This makes UAE – made Alucopanel the first civil defence-certified A1 grade ACP in the world.

An industrial unit of Dubai-based diversified business conglomerate Danube Group, Alucopanel Middle East started its journey in 2012 and soon captured a significant share in the Middle East’s ACP market, due to its superior technology and products.

“Alucopanel is a UAE home-grown brand, and its products are all made in the UAE. Today we are proud to announce that this UAE home-grown ACP brand has received Dubai Civil Defence certificate that paves the way for its manufacturing, distribution and installation in buildings, industries and other application,” Rizwan Sajan, Founder and Chairman of Danube Group said. “It is a UAE trademark registered brand and carries the UAE brand identity. As a UAE-based industry, we are proud to be part of the UAE economy.

“The Alucopanel A1 grade aluminium composite panel is the most advanced and most effective non-combustible high-quality ACP product that will reduce fire spread in buildings. This will significantly improve the fire safety record of buildings and structures covered by A1 ACPs.”

What is Non-combustible A1 ACP?

The Non-combustible A1 ACPs (A1 ACPs) are fully non-combustible and do not produce any smoke in the event of a fire, offering an ideal sustainable alternative to façade cladding materials.

Based on the performance, ACPs are classified as A1, A2, B, C, D, E and F. A1 being the highest rating signifying non-combustible materials. The A1 rating is the strictest fire rating standard in the world that validates a product’s non-combustible nature. This makes it an ideal choice in the development of high- rise buildings. For a trusted, quality proofed foundation, these are the products one should look out for.

The A1, a more advanced and a much safe product, is a significant improvement from the existing A2 ACPs in the market. Fire is the biggest cause of accidents in high-rise buildings globally and in the UAE, which has the third-highest number of skyscrapers in the world after China, USA and Japan. The UAE also hosts 18 of the world’s tallest 100 towers, including Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure.

“Architects, designers, consultants, structural engineers, developers and contractors now have a choice to change the building industry by recommending and installing the highest fire-retardant non-combustible A1 ACPs in building façade that will change the building industry and make buildings, automobiles safer in future,” said Rizwan Sajan, whose Danube is the Middle East’s largest building materials supplier.

The UAE, UK and the world have suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises in recent years. The reason for the blazes, building and safety experts say, is the combustible core used in ACP cladding. The new A1 non-combustible core will rest the risk of the rapid spread of the blaze.

Fire incidents on an average killed 43,200 people per year in 23 years, from 1993 to 2016, according to a research report on 39 cities worldwide conducted by the Centre of Fire Statistics, 2018. Experts say that unless the old buildings are retrofitted with non-combustible core-cladding, fire incidents’ danger remains high, causing material damage to the building structures and lives.

Alucopanel A1 ACP Certification

Alucopanel A1 is manufactured in a quality-controlled and regularly-audited factory. The auditing has been undertaken under three separate product and quality control schemes including ISO 9001 QMS Certification provided and audited by SGS Middle East.

Fire Testing and Certification was carried out by Thomas Bell-Wright International, a Dubai-based certification body accredited by UKAS, GAC, IAS and EIAC who was engaged in auditing of Alucopanel A1 manufacturing and sampling for reaction to fire test EN 13501-1:2018 and Self and Flash Ignition fire test ASTM D1929-16 on its core material as well as full-scale façade fire propagation test according to NFPA 285-2019 required in the latest edition of UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice.

After successful results, Alucopanel A1 received product certification No. TBW0300647 on September 30, 2020. It received external wall facade system certification No. TBW0300672 on December 17, 2020, and obtained Dubai Civil Defence approval on January 3, 2021, making world’s first Civil Defence-Approved External Wall Façade System having Euroclass A1 core ACP.

Global ACP Market

The global ACP market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of (CAGR) of 6.9 per cent to US$6.3 billion in 2017 to US$8.8 billion by 2022, according to Markets and Markets, a market intelligence provider. Increasing the application scope of lightweight aluminium composite panels in the construction industry for insulation is projected to drive the market over the forecast period. These composite panels provide features, such as lower thickness, high insulation, and superior sealing, crucial for building structures.

The aluminium composite panels market is witnessing high growth, owing to factors such as the increase in industrial and commercial activities, growth in demand from end-use industries, and increase in popularity of anti-toxic and antibacterial panels’ coupled with benefits associated with aluminium composite panels, such as durability and reduced sound transmission; protect the surface from UV-sunlight, heavy rain, wind, humidity, and harmful bacteria and microbes. Increased urbanisation and the construction industry’s growth have led to an increase in demand for aluminium composite panels, particularly in the Asia Pacific and South America’s emerging economies.

According to the Global Construction Report 2030 by Oxford Economics, the global construction industry is expected to reach US$8 trillion by 2030. Construction of factories, manufacturing plants, stadiums, and offices has increased. This would directly influence the need for sustainable decorative building construction solutions in these structures due to which an increase in the demand for aluminium composite panels is observed.

The construction industry has been growing at a rate of 10 per cent for the past few years in the Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar, the report said.

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