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Previously having delved into the details of BS 5234 helped us explain the drawbacks of this British Standard in the world of modern glass partitions. Furthermore, explaining how we ensure the performance of glass partitions meets appropriate standards for safety and materials proved beneficial in giving clarity in our processes.

We now turn our attention to testing of glass partitions and highlighting some of the things you should consider when specifying.

Line Load Testing

When we test, we use BS 5234 to make a fairly generalised reference to crowd/line loads. Though, we only use this in the context of partitions being used as barriers. Generally, our glass office partitions don’t normally perform structurally. However, requirements state that a partition should safely guard when needed. For example, if someone walking by should accidentally fall into the glass.

Using a software calculation we determine glass type and thickness for our partitions. We then test in circumstances specific to the need of the client.

We commonly use non load-bearing partitions in commercial office environments, provided the partition is not acting as a barrier, guide or retainer.

In other circumstances, we apply different standards. As in the case for many of our projects, for instance in public or heavy circulation areas, and in some public-sector buildings. We have previously applied greater loads to the glass in public areas. The client can specify this as it may need to function for crowd control or protect against hospital trolleys. In these cases, we provide alternative solutions to our standard glass. Furthermore, we ensure that the specified system has been tested for crowd load resistance.

You can refer to more detailed specification information in our Members’ Area, or see examples of the projects we’ve supplied in our projects area, filtered by different sectors.

Glass Partition Design Testing

Product design and product testing go hand in hand.

As an example, we recently developed a system of glazing called Revolution 100. This is a high acoustic, mullion-free glazed partition system. Designing this partition, we set out with the intention of it achieving a height greater than the typical 3000mm.

Our Revolution 100 is now standing in various offices across the UK at a height greater than 3000mm vertically. Using a test rig we evaluate the design to confirm where transoms would need to be situated. By this, we found what the structural effect of the transoms would be. We carry out our testing in Laboratory Conditions at the University of Salford. As a result, you can see the different positions of the transoms.

Door Testing

Doors in glazed partitions are an example of an element that undergoes considerable stress. Testing in our Radstock Manufacturing Facility ensures that our doors perform perfectly throughout their lifespan.

Within the industry office-based doors are generally categorised medium-duty. Therefore these doors are put through 100,000 open and close cycles (including opening and closing the latch). When a client requires corridor doors with frequent duty use, we test our doors even more vigorously, testing our doors 200,000 or even up to half a million cycles for heavy-duty use.

Testing is undertaken in-house to meet relevant standards making us confident that our products can withstand any office environment.

Acoustic Testing

In order for the acoustic value of a glass partition or door to be credible, it must have been proven in an accredited laboratory. As a result, we are able to see direct comparisons between one system and another. We test both partitions in accordance with the correct sample definition annex in EN ISO 10140-1, and by an accredited laboratory. We carry out all acoustic testing in accordance with UKAS regulations (Annex A).

It is also important to make sure that the test certificate states the test sample size.  Glass partitions are full height structures, so it is not acceptable to test partitions as ‘windows’ according to annex C, or ‘glazing’ in accordance with annex D, both in smaller sized openings. Testing samples using these methods, as acknowledged by EN ISO 10140-1, will generally give an artificially higher result than testing a representative partition sample with multiple modules of glass, glazing joints and exposed perimeter track-work.  Such a result cannot, therefore, be directly compared to a full partition sample test result.

Peter Long, Technical Manager

More Information

Find out more about Revolution 100 Single Glazed and Double Glazed Partitioning.

Read about the projects at CMS Cameron McKenna and Hewlett Packard in the City of London.

Interested in Acoustic Testing of Glass Partitions? Read about:

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