The aim of the FFAT (Façade Fire Assessment Tool) project is to help producers to overcome the existing legislative barriers to fire safety by launching the first commercial tool to assess façade elements' potential to achieve European and Asian test certification.
For companies which export façades, FFAT will result in approximately 40% savings on fire testing costs, and an approximately 25% reduction of time-to-market before 2024. The need for appropriate façade fire testing methods is becoming more and more urgent, since serious fires involving façades are increasing in terms of numbers and consequences.
The concept behind the FFAT project is to replace full-scale fire testing with the help of a combination of reduced fire tests and CFD modelling, in order to achieve more detailed results compared to full-scale fire testing. The aim of testing on a smaller scale is to achieve data on heat exposure and reaction-requiring characteristics of the tested ETICS (external thermal insulation composite systems). The role of CFD modelling is to translate the test results on a reduced scale to a full-scale setting which addresses the challenges regarding thermomechanical behaviour, fire load, fire spreading, etc.