Gove urged to reveal whether Grenfell cladding failed fire tests decade before blaze

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Ministers have been urged to reveal whether the type of cladding used in Grenfell Tower could fail fire tests conducted by the government more than a decade before the fire, which killed 72 people.

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A document has been assigned to the investigation into the disaster in June 2017 showing the results of tests on several different cladding systems carried out in the aftermath of a fatal fire at the Ayrshire tower block in 2002.

The document, dated 2004 and marked as “commercial in confidence”, was not believed to have been made public until it was leaked to the BBC two months earlier, which reported that it showed that the tests used in the All five cladding systems that had failed. “Proposed Performance Criteria”.


Now a cladding testing expert has written to Housing Secretary Michael Gove warning the results of tests on one of the materials that have “strikingly similar characteristics” to tests conducted in the wake of the Grenfell fire on the aluminum composite cladding used Huh. The building – which is believed to have set fire.

In his paper, Dr. Jonathan Evans displays two thermocouple charts relating to two tests in 2002 and 2017, which indicate that after a steady rise in temperature toward 300C in the first three minutes of the fire test, the temperatures were both “rapidly”. Growing”. Around 900 C.

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This suggests that “another fuel source joined the test, which I can only guess to be the cladding panels”, he said.

“There are very few cladding materials that can release so much fuel energy so quickly, and given the description that the cladding panels were ‘aluminum based’ in 2002, I can think of no other explanation than this 2002 test in which polyethylene -Core ACM is also included, just like the one installed on Grenfell Tower.”

Dr Evans, who sat on the British Standards Committee for large-scale fire testing, said that “there is no doubt that watching this 2002 test will be a shocking experience and it should have been clear to those present and those receiving the report.” ” that the material did not meet the fire safety regulations.

He alleged that the 2002 trial “shows that the state was particularly aware of how deadly cladding material such as ACM can be” – describing it as a “clear warning of what will happen at Grenfell 15 years later”. to be done.

In response to the emergence of the tests in September, the government described them as “experiments” that were carried out to “check the criteria for testing” rather than assessing “the internal safety of building materials”.

This happened after an inquiry and a government selection committee Review In June 1999, a fire broke out at the Garnock Court flats in Irvine, destroying nine floors of the building – killing a 55-year-old man and injuring five others.

Noting that “the experiments were not referred to Parliament”, after being commissioned under Tony Blair’s Labor government, an official at Leveling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) said: “We are exploring the next steps.” which will be published in due time.”


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