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Many (but not all) of the performance characteristics that
apply to Freefoam roofline and cladding products can be
measured, which allows the creation of standards by which to
judge those measurements. It should be noted that, in the
main, most of these standards can only apply to the components, rather than the completed assembly.
Such characteristics include:
- Chemical stability
- Colour fastness
- Density
- Fire resistance
- Flame retardance
- Strength
- Thermal insulation
- Thermal movement
- Weather resistance
- Workability
Freefoam roofline and cladding profiles are made from cellular
PVC-UE (unplasticised expanded cellular polyvinyl chloride) foam,
co-extruded as a durable PVC-U skin with a rigid closed cell core.
They contain no CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) or lead and are
therefore formulated to meet all safety requirements. Freefoam
fixings are manufactured from corrosion-resistant stainless steel.
Freefoam roofline and cladding products are manufactured in
accordance with two recognised standards:
The Foam Profiles
- British Standard specification BS 7619: 1993
- Specification for extruded cellular unplasticised
PVC profiles the fasteners
- British Standard specification BS 6105: 1981
- Specification for corrosion-resistant stainless steel fasteners.
The Manufacturing Process
- the international standard for Quality Assurance
ISO 9001:2000
OHSAS 18001:1999
The thickness of profiles varies, which affects the proportions of
outer skin and inner core, so there can be no single value for
density but, in general, profiles are between 450 and 600 kg/m3
Stability in this context is resistance to chemical and/or biological
reaction. Cellular PVC-UE is not affected by liquids or other
substances in everyday use, and is resistant to attack by acids and
alkalis. It is generally described as being resistant to attack by
wood-boring insects. It is not attacked by termites or woodworm.
It does not support the growth of fungus or bacteria.
It may be subject to damage by a range of organic chemicals,
generically known as esters, ketones and solvents.
The methods of test for colour fastness contained in British
Standard specification BS 1006: A03: 1978 include gradings down
to a minimum value for colour change of Grade 8 Freefoam
white profiles all achieve either Grade 7 or 8, meaning that any
fading or change in whiteness over a minimum 20 years will be
within an acceptable range. Freefoam white profiles have demonstrated, in test conditions, excellent resistance to discolouration,
and also to a degradation known as "pinking", which is generally
believed to be related to processes involving Titanium Dioxide and
Lead stabilisers. Freefoam co-extrusions instead use Calcium Zinc
which has superior resistance to discolouration.
Coloured profiles and associated products use organic pigments,
chosen for their colourfast properties. Any fading experienced will
be gradual and uniform only detectable when compared with
new materials.
The denseness of the outer skin ensures adequate resistance to
impact, thus ensuring a highly durable surface. Freefoam fixings
are manufactured from Marine Grade stainless steel, the most
corrosion-resistant material and thus not prone to rusting or, as a
consequence, the staining of cellular profiles.
Resistance to the spread of fire can only apply to a completed
assembly but not to its components.
Profiles have been tested for compliance with the Flame
Retardance requirements of British Standard BS 476:
BS 476: Pt 5: 1979 Ignitability Test - self-extinguishing;
Pt 6: 1989 Resistance to Fire Propagation - Class 1;
Pt 7:1987 Resistance to Spread of Flame - Class 1Y.
The strength of Freefoam profiles and associated products cannot
be measured as such, because strength is a characteristic of an
assembly. Thus the resistance to wind loads is entirely dependent
on variable factors such as profile configuration/thickness and the
spacing of fixings. When fixed in accordance at the recommended
spacings, the roofline and cladding systems have adequate resistance
to wind loadings. Up to two storeys height, fixing spacings should
not exceed 600 mm centres, and from two storeys to a maximum of
five storeys, 400 mm centres

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