What are the General Features of Fire-Rated Elevator Doors?
Elevator systems improved so much since their invention. But the real reason that made them a part of our lives was safety. After the great invention of Otis that provided safe travel with lifting systems, elevator systems not only ease daily life but also helped the architects design taller and bigger buildings. Today, there are many other issues with elevator safety than at the beginning of the elevator era.
One of the most important safety issues about elevators is fire. Fire and elevators are not the terms that can come together. Except for some special elevators, lifts cannot be used during or in the possibility of a fire. On the other hand, elevator systems should have some standards to provide general safety. Insulation, integrity, and fire stability are some of the important requirements that we should consider with building safety. In general, even if we don’t use them, they should resist fire for a sufficient period to let people survive.
Today, we will talk about the durability of elevator cabin doors and floor doors. What are the general specifications of fire-rated elevator doors? In what ways should they stand against fire? We will give useful information about the fireproof elevator doors.
What is the Purpose of Fire Rated Elevator Doors?
First, we should mention about what is the meaning of fire-rated elevator doors. A fire door or a door with a fire-resistance rating is a kind of door constructed of some special materials in order to slow or stop flames, smoke, or radiant and conductive heat transfer. This material is very important and useful to retard fire to create sufficient time for people to escape. Or even block the fire to spread.
So, we can understand that the primary purpose of fire-rated elevator doors is to prevent or fight against any possible fire. They are important in preventing, blocking, or gaining sufficient time to help the users. And there are so many rules, regulations, and standards to provide this ability. Now we will talk about the main features and documentation of these.
Main Features of Fire Resistant Elevator Doors
Fire-rated doors are not only important to prevent the spreading of fire or smoke, but also provide safety for residents and help to protect the integrity of the structure. In order to provide these, there are some important features that these doors should have. There are 3 main criteria for fire-resistant elevator doors;
Integrity is the main criterion for fire resistance of elevator doors. It is represented as (E) in the documentation. Integrity (E) is mainly the impermeability of a material. We can also define it as the durability of the doors. According to standards, the leakage rate of opening doors should not exceed 3 m³/min.
Thermal Insulation (I)
Thermal insulation is indicated with (I). In order to provide general safety for a whole structure (not only elevator doors), builders should also use proper materials that will resist fire as much as possible. Thermal insulation is also very important in considering the dimensions of the building. General material types for thermal insulation are;
- Inorganic materials, ( such as glass wool, and rock wool)
- Organic materials (polyethylene, rubber, polyurethane)
Glass wool is an important and very common material for thermal insulation. It is a very successful material for heat and sound insulation. And it is a good retardant for flames when they are the main element of elevator doors.
Radiation Resistance (W)
Radiation resistance is the ability of fire resistance of structural material with its single side. This way, the opposite side of the fabric won’t radiate the heat, which will protect the adjacent object from fire.
General International Standards About Fire-Rated Lift Doors
As we mentioned at the beginning, there are many regulations and standards about fire-rated lift doors from material selection to manufacturing and also construction. The general documents are;
- EN 81-58:2003 — Safety rules for the construction and installation of lifts — Examination, and Tests
- Also EN 1363-1 – Fire resistance- Tests
- EN 81-20/50 – Safety rules for the construction and
installation of lifts
- EN 1364-1 – Fire resistance tests for non-loadbearing
- Other than, EN 1634-2 – Fire resistance and smoke control tests for
door, shutter, and openable window assemblies and
elements of building hardware.
- EN 1365-1 – Fire resistance tests for loadbearing
- EN 1366-3 – Fire resistance tests for service installations.
- And, EN 1366-4-A1 – Fire resistance tests for service
- EN 13501-3+ A1 – Fire classification of construction
products and building elements.
- 2014/33/EU — Lift Directive 2014
And there is some other documentation, but the most important ones are above. Fire-rating or fire resistance level of an elevator door can be defined by these fire tests. For example, one of the common definitions is 2-hour fire-rated elevator doors. It is obvious that fire-rated lift landing doors are very important for both saving lives and the integrity of the construction. As ISF Elevator, we provide top-quality elevator cabin doors for our customers.
ISF Elevator – Content Producer