Cladding Flammability, Sampling and Analysis

Cladding Flammability, Sampling and Analysis

On-site sampling images

Australia’s Most Trusted Cladding Testing Laboratory

Recent multi-level building fires in Australia and overseas have prompted governments and building insurers to review building fire safety, with a focus on re-assessing the potential fire risk caused by inappropriate use of aluminium composite panels (ACP) and other combustible façade materials.

In 2019, GIS lab was certified by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) in sampling, testing and report on combustible cladding and building materials national wide.

GIS has proved itself as one of Australia’s most trusted materials testing and consultancy company, establishing ongoing relationships with fire engineers, building owners, building insurers, and other stakeholders in Australian industry

Insurance Council of Australia Approved GIS

GIS is approved by ICA to carry out the following building work or other works in emergency/ building orders issued by Municipal Building Surveyor.

“Undertake independent sampling and testing in accordance with the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) Protocol, to identify and confirm whether any combustible Aluminium Composite Panel façade material is installed in the locations as identified in Municipal Building Surveyor. Note that the samples for testing must be extracted on site by the testing authority and not by any third party to make the building safe.”

GIS accurately identify the flammability, composition and toxicity of Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) cladding and associated insulations, and provide ACP classification in accordance to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) categories. Reports meet both ICA and State Government criteria.

GIS accurately identify the flammability, composition and toxicity of Aluminium Composite Panel (ACP) cladding and associated insulations, and provide ACP classification in accordance to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) categories. GIS provides cladding testing services including:
• Cladding Combustibility
• Cladding Flammability
• Cladding Identification
• Cladding Composition

GIS also offers chemical composition testing services for many other building materials including:
• Expanded Polystyrene Panels (EPS)
• Sarking and insulation materials
• Cement, Concrete and Timber
• Polyisocyanuarate Foam Panels (PIC)
• Glasswool, PET wool
• and other materials

High Profile Technical Team

Our materials experts are highly qualified and experienced PhDs in Chemistry and Materials Science. Our experts have more than 30 years’ experience in materials testing and analysis.

Relevant Experience and Capability

GIS was engaged to test and characterise over 1000 cladding and insulation samples for a variety of buildings, both public & commercial, for high-rise apartments, banks, shopping centres, museums, schools, railway stations, etc.

Equipped with World-Class Facilities

Equipped with state-of-the-art instruments, GIS uses an extensive range of analytical techniques including FT-IR, XRD, XRF, and other facilities to identify polymers and mineral fillers compositions in claddings and other building material.

Images of instruments for cladding testing.

The following testing methods were used to grade the Aluminium Composite Cladding (ACP) and other building materials.

1. Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) (ASTM E573-01).

2. Dry Ash Content (ASTM D5630-13).

3. X-Ray Diffraction (ASTM C1365-18).

4. Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) (ASTM E1131-08).

5. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) (ASTM D6247).

Cladding and Facade audits comprise of four stages: Desktop Audit, Site Assessment, Testing of Cladding, and Methodology to Remove and Rectify Non-Conforming ACP

Step 1 – Building Facade Assessment

A desktop review of building specifications and an onsite building inspection need to conduct to assess the type of facade material that was used on a building.

Step 2 – Identification of Materials

The identification of ACPs or other combustible façade materials is the critical step in the process of identifying the potential hazard to a building. GIS laboratory will provide an accurate cladding assessment and risk report based on the testing results. The report will specify the cladding material as either combustible or non-combustible.

Step 3 – Evaluating the Exposure

Using the identification and quantification outcomes of Step 2, the purpose of this step is to provide a consistent report into the exposure of the building regarding the presence of ACPs or other combustible façade materials.

Step 4 – Remedial Actions for Consideration

Remedial actions will depend on the category of ACP or other combustible façade material and insulation/sarking installed. Fire Engineers may offer an alternative to a complete or partial facade replacement. The acceptability of any solutions should be agreed by all parties involved.

Contact GIS for more information on Cladding Sampling and Testing Service