The next generation of composite fire doors

The next generation of composite fire doors

The award-winning Guardsman Fire Door from ODL Europe is a gamechanger for the composite fire door sector and gives architects and specifiers the fire safety credentials they are looking for. ODL Europe’s Technical Manager Ian Glenister explains.

For architects and specifiers specifying a fire door for a project, the requirement on the face of it is simple: it must deliver the required level of fire protection. But beneath that headline requirement, there are a wealth of other factors at play. For example, the door should have shown consistency over a range of test results and across a range of door manufacturers. Only then, can there be the confidence that the composite fire door has been truly specified and holds the necessary credentials when it comes to the door’s performance and stability.

Our mission at ODL Europe is to build value into building products. So, when we started to develop a 30-minute composite fire door two years ago, our aim was simple: a door that eliminated the unknown elements of a composite fire door’s performance and delivered tried and tested, consistent test results. In other words, a fire door that was a gamechanger for the sector.

We partnered with the engineers at our partners Capstone, the world-leading supplier of composite door slabs, and a select number of experienced fire door manufacturers who shared our ambitions. And we set the bar high.

Any 30-minute fire door we brought to the market would need to pass the European fire test standard of EN 1634, which is the more onerous test standard required by Part B of Building Regulations. We could have relied on British Standard test evidence, but while this ticks all the boxes legally, we knew it doesn’t take a door out of its comfort zone so wouldn’t meet the standards we had set for ourselves.

We also needed to eliminate the phenolic foam that forms the core of an industry-standard 30-minute composite fire door. We knew a solid core was the way forward and the material we are using is Agrifiber. It is a board material made from resin-bonded agricultural fibres and is a renewable source so has good environmental credentials.

Unlike a foam, it is capable of delivering very consistent material densities and at the right density it has both superb structural properties and excellent fire resistance.

The result of our six-figure development investment is the Guardsman Composite Fire Door.

It has been tested in glazed and unglazed versions. It has also been tested across multiple manufacturers. And in the most recent tests to EN 1634, we have achieved an average of 100% overrun past the 30-minute mark. At the extreme, our 30-minute Guardsman fire door achieved over 70 minutes.

The doors have been tested as part of a doorset including our TriSYS glazing cassette and a TS008 letterplate. They have reached test ratings they have never achieved before, which demonstrates the importance of the solid core in the construction.

Of course, while safety is rightly the first priority for a fire door, day-to-day practicalities also matter.

As a Capstone door it has hardwood stiles and rails and a 2mm GRP skin. It means it has all the pedigree you would expect from a composite door developed by a manufacturer with Capstone’s credentials. It is a durable and robust door that is virtually maintenance-free and more than capable of withstanding the realities of everyday use while still maintaining a good-looking appearance.

We believe the Guardsman Fire Door is the first in the next generation of composite fire doors, a generation that delivers better, more reliable protection in the event of fire, and it would seem the industry agrees. The Guardsman Composite Fire door was voted Best New Product of the Year at the prestigious G21 Awards. The credentials and outstanding performance of the Guardsman Fire Door were notable qualities that impressed the G Awards judges: “Achieving a 30-minute fire door with both glazing, a letterplate and with PAS 24:2016 performance is remarkable.”

So, for architects and specifiers looking to work with the best in composite fire doors, then the award-winning Guardsman Composite Fire Door by ODL Europe offers the credentials and fire safety needed.

For more information visit or call 0151 933 0299

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