Fire Dampers Questions

How should fire dampers be installed?

It is important to remember that even though the fire damper you purchase is CE marked, in order to perform a compliant installation it must be installed as advised by the manufacturer in their published installation documents. Any deviation from a manufacturer’s published installation method could render the installation non-compliant, and therefore technically illegal. It is also important to remember that different manufacturers’ installation methods may vary. Fire damper inspection and testing Inspection and periodic testing of fire dampers is an important task all building owners must undertake. Insurance companies are waking up to the importance of fire dampers, and in the event of a fire may refuse to pay out any claims if proof of regular inspection and testing cannot be provided. BS 9999 states that fire dampers should be inspected and tested at least once per year.EN 15650 goes further, stating that intervals should not exceed 6 months.Instructions for how to inspect and maintain fire dampers are advised by manufacturers in their published documentation. Get in touch with any questions If you have any questions about the installation of fire dampers, please do not hesitate to contact HVC today.

Fire Dampers Questions

What is a fire damper?

According to EN 15650:2010, the European standard which governs fire dampers, a fire damper is ‘a device to be used in conjunction with partitions to maintain fire compartments in heating, ventilating and air conditioning installations.’ Simply, they are devices that act to maintain the integrity of a fire compartment, during a fire, at locations where air ductwork penetrates through the partitions defining that compartment. How does a fire damper work? Fire dampers almost universally consist of: A frame One or more moveable blades An actuation device, e.g. springs or specialised actuators A thermal release mechanism During normal operation the thermal release mechanism holds the actuation device (and therefore the blades) in an open position, thus allowing airflow through the duct to which the damper is fitted. Upon experiencing a trigger condition, e.g. the temperature inside the duct exceeding the thermal release mechanism’s rated temperature or loss of power to the actuator, the thermal release mechanism releases, permitting the actuation device to quickly move the blades to a closed position. At this stage, the duct is shut down, and the integrity of the fire compartment maintained. What Standards are Relevant to Fire Dampers? On the 1st of July 2013 in the UK, it became mandatory under the Construction Products Regulation that all fire dampers were to be CE marked to indicate compliance with the requirements set out in EN 15650:2010, which contains the basic performance requirements for fire dampers. This document also makes reference to EN 1366-2 which defines the furnace testing associated with these products, and EN 13501-3, which provides details on their fire resistance classification.These three documents together define almost everything relating to what a fire damper is, how it is tested and how to classify its performance in order to permit both meaningful comparisons between different models, and verification that any chosen model is suitable for the installation in which it is to be used. Also of particular relevance are: EN 15882-2 – Commonly referred to as EXAP, this standard defines how to treat any variations pertaining to the construction of a fire damper or its installation, in relation to how it was originally tested. EN 1751 - Defines how to test the aerodynamic properties of fire dampers, specifically blade leakage, case leakage and resistance to airflow. ISO 21925-1 (Annex C) – Describes the testing required for thermal release mechanisms. EN 60068-2-52 – Environmental testing (salt spray). Get in touch for more information If you have any questions about fire dampers, please do not hesitate to contact HVC Supplies today.

Diffuser Questions

What size hole do I need to cut for my grille, diffuser or louvre?

The same as the nominal. Unless stated otherwise and in the vast majority of cases, the size you give us will be taken to be the nominal, i.e. the size of the aperture into which you will be fitting the grille, diffuser or louvre. From this size HVC shall deduct a tolerance, permitting the neck of the unit to fit into the hole comfortably. This tolerance is normally between 9 – 15mm, however, does vary by product type, therefore please download the specific product PDF for further details. There are notable exceptions to the above: Series CD ceiling diffusers are normally specified by their neck size, not their nominal. However, you should still cut any holes into which CDs are to be fitted to the nominal. This also applies to Series SFCD and LFCD circular diffusers. The nominal size of dampers will normally refer to the ductwork size they are to suit, not to any aperture size. Got more questions about grilles, diffusers or louvre? get in touch If you have any more questions about grilles, diffusers or louvres, please do not hesitate to contact HVC Supplies today. Our dedicated customer service team will be more than happy to answer any queries.

Weather Louvre Testing

What is BS EN 13030:2001?

EN 13030 is a harmonised European standard which specifies a method for measuring the performance of louvres subject to simulated rain and wind pressures, both with and without air flow through the louvre under test. It provides a common basis on which to compare the performance of weather louvres of different designs, through the use of two defined performance criteria.  Manufacturers wishing to test louvres against this standard typically supply a 1m x 1m sample for evaluation to a suitable test house, for example BSRIA, based in Bracknell, Berkshire.  What performance criteria are louvres evaluated against? EN 13030 states sample louvres should be evaluated for performance in terms of: Resistance to ingress of simulated rain How effective is a louvre at removing simulated rain (75 l/h) from an airstream when subjected to a constant wind speed (generally 13 m/s) and various air flow rates (0 m/s to 3.5 m/s in 0.5 m/s increments). Class A – Excellent (99% effective and above) Class B – Good (between 95% and 98.9% effective) Class C – Fair (between 80% and 94.9% effective) Class D – Poor (less than 80% effective) Coefficient of entry/discharge How much resistance does a louvre present to airflow?  Class 1 – Excellent (Ce/Cd of between 0.4 and 1.0) Class 2 – Good (Ce/Cd of between 0.3 and 0.399) Class 3 – Fair (Ce/Cd of between 0.2 and 0.299) Class 4 – Poor (Ce of 0.199 and below) What does it mean to have a louvre tested against EN 13030? The testing of a louvre against EN 13030 is not in itself a guarantee of performance, rather the louvre is graded against the two above performance criteria. It is therefore important to understand the performance requirements of any application to ensure appropriate louvre selection.   Contact HVC today for more information At HVC Supplies, we offer one of the widest ranges of louvre systems available from any UK manufacturer, with our range being constantly expanded to suit new industry requirements and customer demands. Online you will find a full range of louvre systems, from basic single bank weather louvres to Class A-rated high-performance louvres and sand trap louvres. With a dedicated design team working on both new developments and bespoke projects, why not try HVC for your next project? For further information about our product range, or to find out more about our certifications, please get in touch with us today. Our team of experts will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. 

Louvre Questions

What is the Difference Between Dampers and Louvres?

Dampers and Louvres are both very important parts of the wider HVAC system. Whilst the two can look similar to the untrained eye, they do separate (but equally important) jobs. What is a Damper? A Damper is a valve that stops or regulates the flow of air inside a duct . There are a number of different types of Damper, each for specific uses. Fire Dampers, as we've discussed in our knowedge hub article about fire dampers, impede the spread of fire and smoke in the event of a fire. Volume Control Dampers help to manage the flow of air in a building as part of the HVAC system.  Non return Dampers are opened by airflow, and closed by gravity, and are seen in both commercial and residential properties, these Dampers are used to permit air to flow in one direction, but not the other, therefore minimising heat loss from within a building when a system is inactive. Non-Return Dampers if set up correctly have no need for a motor, or manual input. True Volume Control Dampers are used for balancing or throttling throughflows, and can be either motorised or manual. Examples of True Volume Control Dampers can be found here S900B, S800B - an offshoot of this type of Damper is a Shut Off Damper that offers a tighter seal in a closed position, these can also be made to be manual or motorised. Examples of Shut Off Dampers can be found on our site, S900C and S800C. Unlike Fire Dampers, which are almost always made of steel in UK Volume Control Dampers, Non Return Dampers and Shut Off Dampers can be found in a much wider range of materials, such as aluminum and uPVC. Motorised Dampers are most often electrical, but can also be pneumatic. Electrical motors are available with a range of features to tailor the specific use of a Damper. Modulation as an example can allow control of positions between open and closed going beyond a simple shut off or isolation and enables precise control of the flow rate. Motorised Dampers can also be automated to be controlled by thermostats as part of a larger HVAC system. Spring Return Dampers can be used to ensure the blades return to a fail position in an instance of loss of power, or hydraulic pressure. For more detailed information on specific types of Dampers, please look to our Knowledge Hub for articles on further applications and subtypes. What are Louvres? Louvres, on the other hand, are positioned on the exterior of the building to allow fresh air through and protect the HVAC system against water, dirt and debris ingress, such as rain and leaves. Traditionally, they sit on exhausts or air intakes and have fixed blades which do not close. This means that, if air shut off is required, a secondary damper is required. For example, HVC’s NCA S800C – Heavy duty shut-off.  Differences Between Dampers and Louvres Louvres are designed to prevent water, dirt and debris ingress; dampers are designed to manage airflow and impede the spread of fire and smoke (in the case of a Fire Damper). Whether controlled by gravity or motor, the blades on a damper can open or close depending on the requirements. The blades on a louvre are stationary. Contact HVC Today For more information about our external weather louvres, dampers, or any of the products in our range, get in touch with HVC today. Our dedicated and experienced team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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